Pigeonholing

Stock spiel statements are necessarily general, even though interpretation by the client is claimed to make them seem more impressive. To provide more specific assertions, the reader must narrow down the number of topic areas which could possibly be relevant. To do this he assigns the client to a particular category, generating a stereotype for that subpopulation which will inform him of the kinds of interest or concern to concentrate on. Such classification seems to occur along two main dimensions which are somewhat mutually dependent: what type of person the client is, and what type of problem they are concerned with. Pigeon-holing makes use of information leakage which occurs very early in the reading situation and requires little, if any, subsequent feedback. Instances in which this situation occurs include some types of radio reading, where psychics are invited to give readings on the air for listeners who telephone the station, and more recently with advertised telephone readings. Here there is an initial (verbal) contact with the client which can provide details about sex, age, and perhaps some regional and socio-economic information, but then involves what the client may perceive to be impressively little subsequent interaction.

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