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The Scientific Evidence for Psychic Ability

Discuss Science, Alternative Science and Suppressed Research.

Re: The Scientific Evidence for Psychic Ability

Postby ProfWag » 10 Sep 2011, 03:20

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Re: The Scientific Evidence for Psychic Ability

Postby craig weiler » 10 Sep 2011, 03:58

Ok, this is the kind of objection that I expected. Schwartz did understand this problem and to deal with it, he had everyone rate the readings that other people received as if it were their own. This was, I think, a reasonable attempt to weed out vague information and educated guesses. It established a cold reading benchmark and I don't have the figures but I was surprised at how high the percentage was. (Like 60% or something.) So a psychic would have to beat this by a reasonable margin for their reading to be considered valid. Schwartz was arguing that they did.

What I found interesting from the book was that cold readers were not interested in participating. Particularly Randi, who should have, because I understand that he is truly gifted at cold reading.
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Re: The Scientific Evidence for Psychic Ability

Postby ProfWag » 10 Sep 2011, 04:28

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Re: The Scientific Evidence for Psychic Ability

Postby craig weiler » 10 Sep 2011, 05:36

If you want to view it from that perspective, then let's say that people who are on record as being cold readers and make no claim to actual psychic ability elected not to participate.
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Re: The Scientific Evidence for Psychic Ability

Postby ProfWag » 10 Sep 2011, 06:39

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Re: The Scientific Evidence for Psychic Ability

Postby craig weiler » 10 Sep 2011, 08:25

According to what I read, cold readers, with Randi leading the charge, have claimed that with some practice they could achieve the results that the mediums got. To which Schwartz replied: "Fine, Then do it. Everyone has to prove their claim." (Or something like that.)

Parapsychologists have relied on magicians for a long time to help design studies and Schwartz was no different. He enlisted the help of a local magician and cold reader to help him create his. This is especially important in this type of study where the participants have every reason to act fraudulently. If you don't know what magicians are capable of, then your study results might be the result of magic tricks. So yes, cold readers are very important.

In addition, you would want to compare what the best cold reader could do against the best medium, wouldn't you? If they're equal, then the medium hasn't proven a thing.
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Re: The Scientific Evidence for Psychic Ability

Postby Arouet » 10 Sep 2011, 10:54

I would also like to see cold readers used as controls.

Reminds me of the Darren Brown video:

the first part is a little interesting, but its the second part that's really fascinating (presuming of course that its all not just fiction for television!)
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Re: The Scientific Evidence for Psychic Ability

Postby ProfWag » 10 Sep 2011, 20:29

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Re: The Scientific Evidence for Psychic Ability

Postby craig weiler » 10 Sep 2011, 23:33

You would not want Craig B. because he is also a psychic. You want cold readers with no psychic ability so that you can truly eliminate psychic ability as a possible source.

That said, this is an intimidating study for a cold reader as they have absolutely no visual or verbal clues to go on. It is a double blind study where they can neither see the person they are reading nor hear their actual voice. All they get during the experiment is a yes or no (voiced by a different person) to give them some immediate feedback.

Cold reading typically relies on visual clues, (clothing, mannerisms, body language) and verbal. The person also has to see the cold reader so that the reader can gain their trust to complete the illusion. For a cold reader to walk into a double blind experiment would require balls of steel.

All of the mediums that were tested knew that this was what they were going to face and marched right in while every cold reader balked. Why?
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Re: The Scientific Evidence for Psychic Ability

Postby Craig Browning » 11 Sep 2011, 00:09

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Re: The Scientific Evidence for Psychic Ability

Postby ProfWag » 11 Sep 2011, 05:05

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Re: The Scientific Evidence for Psychic Ability

Postby craig weiler » 11 Sep 2011, 07:43

No, he's not claiming that. He was saying that he was overcome by an entity and it left him sick. I can understand that. I allowed one in once. I see no need for it; they bring nothing to the party that I can't do myself. Although it didn't make me sick; I seem to be protected from the creeps. They cannot hang around me.
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Re: The Scientific Evidence for Psychic Ability

Postby Craig Browning » 12 Sep 2011, 00:29

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