What event made you believe in clairvoyants

How do fortune telling and clairvoyance work?

"Fortune tellers", "clairvoyants" and "mentalists" work with a psychological technique that is called "Cold Reading" referred to as. You create the impression that you can read minds, for example, or know something about the customer's past or future. It is about a Communication technology based on pacing and calibration, so not about something supernatural, but about the practical application of a set of psychological techniques or a "game" in which one pretends to be able to say something about another person what one actually does can't know because you've never seen it before.


In practice, the “customer” usually comes to the “reader” with a life question, and the reader gives him an answer to this question - sometimes without knowing the question. The Technology is based on a combination of

  • open wording"That are always or almost always correct,
  • the precise one Observation of the non-verbal signals of the customer,
  • the Observe the reaction the customer to statements or requests from the reader,
  • professional experience,
  • life experience as
  • use statistical probabilities.

One distinguishes between

  • Open-Eyed-Mind-Readers“, Ie people who use the appropriate methods in the knowledge of what they are doing, so understand them as sophisticated communication techniques, and
  • Shut-Eyed-Mind-Readers", That is, people who pretend or believe themselves to have psychic abilities or, for example, that tarot cards actually say something about the customer.

Hot reading“(As opposed to cold reading) is used by some professional entertainers, but also by scammers. This is where the reader collects secretly prior information through the customer, for example through the Internet, through private detectives, through "spies" or cameras in the anteroom or through a one-way mirror in the waiting room and then returns information to the customer that the customer does not know or where the reader got it from.

To be clear: for the existence of clairvoyance, predicting the future or mind reading there are no scientific evidence whatsoever. At best one can believe in it, but so far nothing has been proven - despite contradicting claims.

On the other hand, it is entirely plausible - and this is supported by the results of social psychology - that there are processes of subliminal, unconscious communication e.g. through subtle non-verbal signals ("psychosomatic resonance"), through which an experienced reader receives information about the customer in an empathic and technically savvy way, the source of which is not obvious and whose origin he may not be directly aware of himself.

Are core components of cold reading "Open" formulations, which we also use in hypnosis induction, e.g. to "cover all possibilities", and which are practically always correct. For this purpose, readers often use formulations that include Spread polarities, e.g .:

  • "You are / were / will be XYZ ... but also YBC ..."
  • "Can you see it, this tarot card stands for a person with a stable, stable character who knows what he wants and the second card stands for openness to new experiences, flexibility and emotional and intellectual agility. "

... This covers practically all possibilities of the corresponding polarity, and in the very "open" formulations you will always find something from which you can feel feels correctly described.

The questions with which most customers come to a reader usually come from a few subject areas or problems:

  • Love / partnership,
  • Work / career,
  • Social life / friends,
  • Family / children,
  • Body / diseases.

The reader can first list or indicate these subject areas in a general form, and - constantly observing the reactions of the customer to his statements - gradually narrow the areauntil he can then say relatively precisely in which area the question moves with which the customer comes to him. (This method is called "Calibrate" designated.)

The reader then makes statements that point to all people with a high probability apply, or at least to the Subgroupthat he assigns to the customer (e.g. "female, early 50s, a bit chubby, coming from a humble background").

He incorporates his statements into convincing setting a (setting up the room, designing the reading as a ritual, speaking).

He underpins the session with a series of "Gimmicks“Like tarot cards, horoscopes, rituals of mind reading, a crystal ball, hand lines, card reading, runes, throwing coins or stones etc. These gimmicks are used for deflection, so the retention of the customer's attention, but also to the Time wasting (if the reader can't think of anything to do with the content), and for Delegation of responsibility on the gimmick ("I'm sorry - not me, but the cards say that ...").

If the reader's statements are not correct, it is either framed as something that "the cards"Or something like that (ie the gimmicks), or it will be"secondary shares"," Unused potential "or similar (e.g .:" The ascendant stands for possibilities that one had, but not yet lived. "), Or as something that can be found in the past has occurred or is happening in the future could happen. In this way, the reader constellates a context in which his statements always seem to apply.

It is important to be precise Observation of the customer by the reader, also in the peripheral (and therefore not so obvious) perception, in particular the perception of the nonverbal responses of the customer on the statements of the reader. A skilled reader will get a wealth of subtle information through the client's physical and vocal expression, clothing, posture and expression, jewelry, speech, haircut, cosmetics, etc.

Some readers ask the customer to do simple ones during the reading To make decisions, and then use them "diagnostically", for example: "Should I read from your hand, do we want to question the cards, or do you prefer the iris diagnosis?" skeptical attitude of the customer can be built into the reading and subtly reflected back to him as information apparently received in a supernatural way.

It is important that the reader always gives the customer the says what the customer wants to hear or expects to hear, but says it in a way that amazes the customer, And thereby avoids specific statements (because they could be wrong).

Readers assume that people go far differ less from each otherthan they believe, and that many people's major life events and issues are relatively similar, even if they are not aware of it.

Readers use the so-called Barnum-Forer effect of "deception through personal validation", which describes the tendency of people to vague and general statements to accept about oneself as an individually applicable description. The term is named after the circus founder P. T. Barnum. Barnum statements can be found in newspaper horoscopes, for example. The test series of the American psychologist B. R. Forer refer to such newspaper horoscopes.

If the reader says something that clearly or does not seem to apply to the customer, then this is partly subject to the customer in the course of the following days amnesia. The customer's belief in miracles and their need for magical, mystical experiences also have a relevant share in the retrograde straightening of the reading in the direction of subjectively experienced coherence.

If the reader makes predictions for the future or gives indications for behavior that is favorable for the customer, then these predictions or indications can also act as suggestions and first establish or promote the life constellation that the reader has apparently correctly predicted.

An exciting exercise to demonstrate these effects is to give a stranger a sufficiently accurate "reading" by apparently describing the customer's life story, problems, internal conflicts, etc. in detail, using only specific names, dates, places and facts waives, so expresses itself in a relatively general way ("because that is sooo clearly never to be seen in the cards ..."), but in reality either

  • About yourself speaks, or
  • a good friend describes,

... whereupon the customer, astonishingly, often feels very much about the Barnum effect feels appropriately and individually described.

In cold reading, techniques are used that are also familiar to experienced hypnotists, and these are integrated into a “magical” setting and linked to materials (e.g. cards, etc.) so that a convincing setting can emerge, which leads to enthusiastic and sometimes enthusiastic people perplexed reports of meetings with fortune tellers, clairvoyants, etc.

Werner Eberwein