A stock spiel reading, also known as a psychological reading (e.g. Hyman, 1981) is made up of prepared phrases, and can be delivered not only without feedback from the client during the reading, but also without the reader having any contact with her before the session begins. Such statements allow one to give a general description of the client, perhaps including some personal details but without focussing on any specific problems. They are of particular use with "sensation-seekers" who really have only come for a reading out of curiosity or for entertainment, or in situations where the lack of contact will make the reading seem impressive, for example if giving a reading over long distances or while screened from the client. The items which make up a stock spiel can be assigned to one of three broad categories of statements; specific generalisations, specific trivia, and Barnum-type statements.
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