Interactions with a practicing pseudopsychic

An exploratory study, conducted in cooperation with pseudopsychic Malcolm Davidson, allowed us to investigate the mechanics of cold reading in situ. Davidson had worked as a psychic reader in the Yorkshire region for over 15 years, but was at that time semi-retired and was happy to share some of his expertise with us. A one-day initial exploratory study was arranged in which he was filmed giving separate readings to three individuals in the morning, and gave a commentary on the techniques being used in the afternoon.

Three sitters (all female) were selected to represent a broad age rangevi, and were invited to participate in 'a preliminary evaluation of a psychic reader'. Sittings took place in the University's television studio, and were filmed using three video cameras. The first of these gave a side-on long shot (full body) of the sitter and reader. Cameras two and three gave mid-shots (waist up) of the sittervii and reader respectively. Recordings from cameras two and three were edited together to give a vertical split-screen view of the interaction, with one half showing the reader and the other the sitter.

Upon completion of the reading, each sitter gave immediate feedback, ostensibly to allow us to decide whether further testing would be fruitful. Ss gave three ratings, indicating how impressed they were with the reading's content, how relevant it was to worries or concerns they had, and how psychic they thought the reader was. Responses were given using a 7-point Likert scale, where 1 = not at all, and 7 = very much. Sitters' actual ratings are reproduced in Table 1:






Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment