Talk:Cold reading

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Intro restore[edit]

I changed the intro back to an older version, because the current one was far to stridently negative against self-proclaimed psychics. The current one was already accusing these people of 'posing' even before it explained what cold reading was. Obviously, everyone isn't going to agree about psychics and the use of the word 'psychic' itself. But we should at least try to assume some NPOV. Ashmoo (talk) 14:23, 12 March 2008 (UTC)[reply]

And the current one makes no sense now. If the reader knows nothing about "cold reading" they will not be able to make heads or tails out of the so-called "intro." Restoring necessary information (without reverting to avoid the previous POV). (talk) 05:31, 24 March 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Fair enough, but bear in mind that having a neutral point of view doesn't always mean equally representing two sides of an argument, sometimes that gives undo credence to a less-than-credible side. If we were talking about the structure of the earth, saying that some people believe it's flat and some people think it's round isn't really neutral, it's just wrong and makes it sound like both arguments are equally well-supported. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Laurak9 (talkcontribs) 21:00, 3 November 2020 (UTC)[reply]


Should the intro of this article be changed slightly? It states that cold reading is used by mediums etc, but this is obviously POV, particulary since it has not been proven. I would go as fae as suggesting a rewrits of the article, as it makes many accusations against 'mediums' and the like. I'm not strictly saying that they don't use cold reading, it is just that it makes the article far from neutral, which I'm sure you will agree, is not the point of wikipedia. Phallicmonkey (talk) 13:39, 10 January 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Yes. Also, shouldn't it refer to alleged psychics? After all, a person could claim to be a doctor, this does not make them a doctor. So as criticisms of fake psychics cannot be levelled at genuine psychics, criticisms of fake doctors cannot be levelled at genuine doctors. If you see what I mean. Also the intro over-eggs the pudding, somewhat and needs to be red-penned as a result. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:17, 28 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

That's meaningless since all psychics are fake psychics! (talk) 17:08, 23 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]


Come on, this barely informs on cold reading and is more an article filled with psychic directed insults. it is hardly informative and gives only opinions. it is, in fact, one of the worst wikipedia articles i can remember reading. Worse even than vandalised articles Phallicmonkey (talk) 21:46, 13 January 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Merged in Warm Reading[edit]

as it was only linked from 2 articles, and just repeated info from this article anyway. i left Hot reading as it is. Catherine breillat (talk) 17:02, 6 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]

   hilarious  — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:40, 9 June 2012 (UTC)[reply] 

Include the denial of psychics[edit]

Ok, so I'm not going to try and get those same edits made, although i do still believe them to be right. But what i do think should be included in the article is a section or something on the fact that mediums etc deny the use of cold reading, and that some people believe that they don't. This could be easy sourced and is not POV Macromonkey (talk) 20:13, 20 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Thank you. If you want to provide some decent sources, that would be fine, but be careful not to overstate the case. One or two sentences in the body, after the mainstream view, maybe Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 20:49, 20 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Perfectly acceptable idea. Just source and frame it properly so as not to make it a special pleading. -- Fyslee (talk) 02:13, 21 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Ok, I will do this soon, in the meantime I will get source-hunting. Macromonkey (talk) 12:48, 21 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Great! Now you're going to start learning more about what is meant by "verifiable" and "reliable sources" (V & RS), which isn't always identical to what is meant in ordinary speech. This is an encyclopedia, and it has other rules and conventions than ordinary websites. -- Fyslee (talk) 16:07, 21 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Why not in the lead? It is a major viewpoint on the subject Macromonkey (talk) 20:02, 23 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]
It isn't a major viewpoint, it is the pov of adherents. Please find a source for it and bring it here for discussion, and we can work on a wording here rather than conversation-by-edit-summary on the article (which I recently learnt isn't very effective). Verbal chat 20:10, 23 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]
It is the view of adherents, so it should still be included, as a viewpoint cannot be left out. I will provide a source shortly Macromonkey (talk) 20:30, 23 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Please provide a source at the same time as you introduce edits not backed up by existing references - making the claim and then suggesting you will add references after it has been challenged is less than ideal. Pedro :  Chat  20:33, 23 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Macromonkey, you are being disruptive by not abiding by the advice given, and your promise at the beginning of this thread. Find the sources, then make your proposed addition right HERE before adding it. When we have worked out an acceptable addition, then you will have a consensus version that we will ALL defend. Until then, you are just being disruptive.

As to it being a "major viewpoint"... OF COURSE IT IS! It's so obvious as to not be worthy of mention. No believer in pseudoscience or the paranormal, and obviously not a fraud, will admit or believe that what they believe isn't true. They will obviously dispute any criticism. So what? It's so obvious that one normally considers it a given, and not worthy of mention. We aren't writing for three year olds here. -- Fyslee (talk) 23:44, 21 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

A major viewpoint isn't worthy of mention because its obvious? It's obvious that England is part of the UK, yet it's still mentioned in the article. It's an encyclopedia, you can't ommit content because it's obvious. Macromonkey (talk) 21:29, 22 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
If it were a significant detail that made a difference, it would be worth mentioning, but the proper analogy would like writing in every biography "So-and-so is a man, and he breathes air." Duh! All men and women breathe air. So what? Whatever the case, you will need to provide a source. You're still violating your promise at the beginning of this thread. -- Fyslee (talk) 21:55, 22 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Edit war over unsourced inclusion[edit]

Macromonkey, contrary to their promise above, has attempted to edit war inclusion of the following statement:

  • "The use of cold reading by psychics is disputed by some, including but not limited to the psychics themselves, new age practitioners and spiritualists."

I have reverted, based on a lack of sourcing and based on Macromonkey's promise above to not do what they have been doing:

  • "Ok, so I'm not going to try and get those same edits made, although i do still believe them to be right. But what i do think should be included in the article is a section or something on the fact that mediums etc deny the use of cold reading, and that some people believe that they don't. This could be easy sourced and is not POV Macromonkey 20:13, 20 February 2009 (UTC)"

So what can be done here? The obvious and usual choice is to seek to get Macromonkey blocked for unwikipedian behavior and edit warring, which should be pretty easy to do. On second thought, I personally have no objection to the information, but just want it to be properly sourced, which is our policy here, so I'm willing to be merciful and give Macromonkey a second chance (conditions posted below).

There are currently two sections that touch on the subject of the fraudulent use of cold reading by psychics:

Since we need to develop this subject even more, maybe we should merge them and do that. I will tag the unsourced statement and then make some tweaks which will also be tagged to encourage other editors to help develop the subject.

I have now merged them into this section:

The statement should NOT be introduced into the LEAD until it is properly sourced. Then I will defend inclusion of a similar, and likely improved, statement. Until then, if it is introduced without sourcing, it is fair game for deletion and the one adding it fair game for blocking. Macromonkey, I request that you be an honorable person and respect this request. I am not interested in edit warring, and would rather see article improvement. -- Fyslee (talk) 00:41, 24 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I see that Macromonkey has chosen to edit war, rather than discuss. His mass deletion has been reverted as vandalism. As a formerly blocked user who was mercifully allowed to change his originally provocative username, he should be very careful. This is all evidence that is adding up. -- Fyslee (talk) 05:06, 25 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
It would be fine, but you are refusing to allow obvious content, and lets face it, you would refuse to allow it (esp. in the lead) even if sources were provided. I notice that you are a skeptic, and probably atheist, so are pushing an opinion, and if I am vandalising, you are doing exactly the same, just pushing the opposite opinion Macromonkey (talk) 18:05, 25 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
You aren't AGF. I have just clearly stated that "I personally have no objection to the information, but just want it to be properly sourced, which is our policy here,..." Since you have continued to violate your own promise above by edit warring and not properly discussing and coming to a consensus BEFORE editing, I see no choice but to seek to have you blocked. -- Fyslee (talk) 23:21, 25 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Sentence removed from lead[edit]

I have (second time for me) just removed the following text from the lead: "The use of cold reading by psychics is disputed by some, including but not limited to the psychics themselves, new age practitioners and spiritualists". My reasons for the deletion are: First, the sentence is rather clumsy, and certainly non-encyclopedic. Second, the weasel phrase "disputed by some" stands out as requiring justification, particularly in the lead. Third, the sentence simply does not tie in with the article. The article is about a technique whereby a person can appear to display miraculous mental powers. The removed sentence seems to be an attempt to say that some psychics claim to not use the cold reading technique. That information belongs in an article on psychics. An article on card cheating techniques does not need a claim in the lead that some card players say they never cheat.

An argument could be made for putting the removed sentence (properly rewritten and justified) somewhere near the bottom of the article, but it is simply not relevant in the lead which is to introduce readers to the fact that "cold reading" does exist, and has a certain meaning, and has been demonstrated by some people (examples of the "some people" are given in the article). Johnuniq (talk) 00:47, 29 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Accuracy/In-world View[edit]

This article seems really, really weird. It talks about cold reading as if it's a generally accepted practice or something. It talks about this as if it's a well known science. It's really far fetched. I think it needs to be completely redone. If anyone know of any better templates or something, please replace them. Should this be marked as just spam and redone entirely. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Pisharov (talkcontribs) 23:07, 16 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]

You may have been overloaded by nonsense on the net – this article is actually real. It is possible to learn a technique ("cold reading") whereby a performer can gather clues allowing plausible statements to be made that the gullible think are due to mind reading, or some inexplicable factor. I'm just an interested onlooker (on the science side), but it seems to me that your {{accuracy}} tag should be removed. Johnuniq (talk) 00:50, 17 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Problem with the lead.[edit]

There is a problem with the first sentence of the lead that seems to have come up over and over and which will likely attract continued disruption if we don't deal with it. This is the current lead, first sentence:

Cold reading is a series of techniques used by mentalists, fortune tellers, psychics, and mediums to determine details about another person in order to convince them that the reader knows much more about a subject than they actually do.

The problem is that this implies a conclusion, specifically that cold reading is what all "mentalists, fortune tellers, psychics, and mediums" do. Our articles should reflect the "mainstream" view, predominantly, but what mainstream? Is this a science article? How, exactly, is the "mainstream view" determined?

Cold reading is a technique which can, at least, simulate mind-reading or psychic abilities, and it is a common skeptical point of view that this underlies all such phenomena. However, it may not underlie all, there may be other unusual abilities that are at work. For example, the supposed goal of cold reading: to convince them that the reader knows much more about a subject than they actually do. That would refer to one kind of cold reading, not to all. Suppose, for example, that the psychic has the ability to read subvocalisation, there are claims that some can do this. The reader, then, actually would have the ability to "read the mind" of the subject, even though, under this theory, there is a visual channel open, and it would be subvocalization being read, not the "mind" itself. Likewise with an ability to notice and understand what is communicated in eye movements, subtle movements of facial muscles, pulse rate, etc. We do not know the limits of the human mind and human capacities, but certainly some people are able to do what is mysterious to others. See Savant syndrome.

What's true and verifiable is that cold reading is proposed as an explanation for many phenomena ascribed to psychic abilities. It may also be true and verifiable that some who claim psychic abilities deny that they practice cold reading. (It should be noted that the the techniques of cold reading might be used outside of consciousness, in addition to the unusual perceptiveness as mentioned above, and might underlie the "intuition" of these psychics, so the denial might be fully sincere, but mistaken.)

I'm concerned that the is a possible POV problem with the very first sentence of the lead, which is an invitation to constant attempts by people who believe in psychic abilities, and there are certainly many, to correct the article. I have not researched the history of this article, but my general position is that we determine balance by what is in reliable source, so, first of all, is that lead sentence in reliable source without synthesis? I didn't see such source cited. --Abd (talk) 21:21, 29 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I see you have changed the lead, however I think the change makes the article far too mysterious – someone wanting to know what cold reading is now has a puzzle to decode. If you have a reliable source concluding that some mind readers do not use cold reading, your change may be justified, although the original English was not as harsh as you suggest. Johnuniq (talk) 05:12, 30 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I agree with Johnuniq and have reverted the lead. Glad to see you've moved on from "fusion", but you still have a "cold" fixation ;)Verbal chat 06:44, 30 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Try to avoid the personal comments, Verbal. I think you have got it backwards. There is a claim in the lead which is not supported by reliable source in the article. The lead as I left it describes what cold reading is. Cold reading is something used to create a certain impression in the mind of the "audience," i.e., literally an audience, or just an individual listener. It's used in all kinds of contexts, actually, but how it is used and the purpose for which it is used are separate from what it is.
I would edit to show usage, but, really, the article should explain that and there should be nothing in the lead that isn't clearly established in the article itself; the lead should be the most rigorously neutral of anything in the article.
Johnuniq, there is reference in the article to Karla McLaren. She acknowledges that she used something like cold reading in her work, without realizing it, but cold reading properly applies to the deliberate usage of these techniques, as by magicians and mentalists, and most of what we know about cold reading comes from those sources. Cold reading is a real technique, and there isn't any doubt about that. I've used cold reading techniques, it's part of standard hypnotic technique. (Not to deceive, but to guide, to develop rapport, which then opens up receptivity.) I don't think it's proper to use "cold reading" as a synonym for "intuition," which is a neutral term that doesn't necessarily involve "psychic" powers. Quite clearly, some psychics are merely highly intuitive, which means that they are able to process, without specific consciousness, cues that escape conscious notice. (People who believe in the psychic domain may think that these cues are in that domain.) I will edit the lead in an attempt to satisfy your concerns, but the biggest problem is that we are floating without sources. Feel free to take it out as unsourced, but please don't insert unsourced material in the lead (i.e., not sourced in the article). The material you reverted back in, Verbal, is unsourced and POV.
Johnuniq, how could we have a reliable source that suggests "some mind readers do not use cold reading?" However, we do know that mentalists and magicians use it. We should state what we know, not what we don't know. For our readers, it's enough that they know what cold reading is, and that it can make it appear that the cold reader has mysterious access to information. Standard magic, actually.--Abd (talk) 13:01, 30 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I disagree, and right now and on previous discussion, you are in a minority and do not have consensus. Feel free to take this to WP:FTN to ask for further input. Please keep your posts shorter. The "cold" reference was an attempt to break any ice that may have formed. Cold reading is not limited to the deliberate usage of these techniques - if someone uses them but is ignorant of the literature that doesn't mean they aren't using cold reading. Please propose any changes you would like to make below. Verbal chat 13:06, 30 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I'm only in a minority if you neglect the many editors who have questioned this, serially. (There is a difference, though. I do not believe in psychic powers. I believe in NPOV.) You have re-inserted POV text in the lead without source. Establish it clearly in the rest of the article first. Are there such things as psychics? Someone using cold reading, consciously or unconsciously, is not a psychic. The view that psychics exist is a POV. The view that they do not exist is a POV. The view that they exist is held by many. --Abd (talk) 14:04, 30 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Many of those editors are the same person. I was about to add sources but I have been beaten to the punch. Saying psychics use cold reading is neutral. That they may use other techniques as well or (im)possible magic powers is irrelevant. Dentists use dental drills, but that isn't all they use - should the dental drill article not say "Dental drills are tools used by dentists". Verbal chat 14:10, 30 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]
From Psychic: The word psychic (pronounced /ˈsaɪkɨk/; from the Greek psychikos—"of the soul, mental") refers to an ability to perceive information hidden from the normal senses through extrasensory perception, or to people with such abilities. It is also used to refer to theatrical performers who use techniques such as prestidigitation and cold reading to produce the appearance of such abilities. The brief language that would cover this in our lead would be "and some psychics." Or,, "and, according to skeptics, fortune tellers, psychics, and mediums." I will assert that text, since it can be sourced.--Abd (talk) 14:14, 30 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Why WP:FTN? Cold reading is not a fringe theory. It is a well-established technique. --Abd (talk) 14:22, 30 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Cold reading is closely associated with fringe theories, as you have just described yourself. WP:NPOV if you prefer, though I would also alert WP:FTN. Please don't editwar or wikilawyer here, instead get consensus for your edits. We've done as you asked. Verbal chat 14:52, 30 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]
What "fringe theories?" Here the topic isn't a fringe theory, and the claim is being made here, stronger than what is actually said in Psychic, that the basis for so-called psychic "powers" is cold reading. The language I inserted, and that Verbal removed, is from the lead of that article; why would it enjoy consensus there and not here? Skeptics have attributed the putative powers of psychics to intentional trickery or self-delusion. --Abd (talk) 18:56, 30 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

With [1], Verbal reverted my edit to the lead with the comment, (revert unsupported edits by Abd). With [2], Verbal edited Psychic likewise removing the wikilinked skeptics, but did replace the word later in the sentence. That text in Psychic was supported by consensus and four sources. Why is very similar text here, clearly supported by the text and references of the article, removed as "unsupported"? I've been researching the history of the lead, and what I've seen was edit warring, over and over, on this, without attempt to find compromise. Not good. At Psychic, it seems there was extensive negotiation over the lead to find the text currently used, before Verbal's edit, which only weakens it slightly. --Abd (talk) 02:31, 3 July 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Let's just talk about this article here. The current lead sentence is "Cold reading is a series of techniques used by some ... psychics ... to determine or express details about another person..." The sentence is beautifully WP:NPOV because while it clearly says what cold reading is (with a reference), it also says some psychics, leaving open the possibility that other psychics have magical powers and do not need cold reading. If you have a reliable source that a certain psychic really does have magical powers, that remarkable information should be added to Psychic, but it is not relevant here. Johnuniq (talk) 03:04, 3 July 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Ooops, I stupidly did not notice that you just inserted "some" into the lead and so blurted out the above which I have just struck out as irrelevant. Johnuniq (talk) 03:07, 3 July 2009 (UTC)[reply]
My goal is that the text becomes stable; I see that a compromise was worked out at Psychic between the factions on this, and it seems to be stable, though Verbal monkeyed with it two days ago, that was minor. I find the concept of "unconscious" cold reading to be problematic. Cold reading refers to a series of known techniques. Semantically, there are problems that haven't been faced here. The language in Psychic is fine. The language here will constantly invite contentious editing, for no good purpose, and I'll cover that more in other comments.
Sorry, I had planned to stay out of this, as I only wanted to add a reference to help out and then step out of everyone's hair. However, "some" isn't the right choice of words, as it makes the statement logically stronger, so I reverted it pending discussion. To explain: if I say "Online sources are used by Wikipedia editors", I'm not logically saying that all editors use online sources, but only that more than one editor does so. If, instead, I say "Online sources are used by some Wikipedia editors" I'm logically saying that more than one editor does so, but not all editors do so. That's a stronger statement than the earlier one. In this case, it may warrant saying "some ... psychics" but first it would need to be shown that "not all psychics" is true. Which is possible - you could, for example, show that some psychics use hot reading and specifically don't employ cold reading. But just as it was insisted that a source was required for the statement that "psychics use cold reading", I think it is reasonable to insist that there a source to support the stronger claim. - Bilby (talk) 03:48, 3 July 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I agree there is a problem. It was simply a proposal, I prefer to cite the allegations by skeptics that "psychics" are only using cold reading, and not "psychic powers." It is clear that some who hold themselves out to be psychics use cold reading consciously. These would be "fake" psychics, pretenders, and to say that doesn't imply that there are any "real" ones, in the end, but I'm sure there are some who are not "faking" or "pretending." We have one example of someone who, in fact, did not claim to be a psychic, if you read carefully, she claimed to be intuitive, and she acknowledged, later -- when she came out as a skeptic! -- that she may have been using cold reading techniques unconsciously, or semiconsciously. But I really don't know what "psychic" means, and I say that advisedly, because I don't know what the sensory limitations of the human mind are. Nevertheless, the statement currently in the article isn't clearly sourced to a text that was actually focused on this. The issue isn't whether or not there are any "real" psychics. It is whether or not we can imply that there are not. We should not imply that there are, nor should we imply that there are not. Whether or not it is intended, the current text invites readers to think that we are debunking psychics, which is why there has been so much disruption over this lead. Debunking is not our task, and if there are editors here who think it is, that should be brought out into the open and faced.
By the way, about psychologists. Specifically, hypnotists use cold reading techniques to develop rapport and facilitate trance, it's part of the training, I could probably find references, though they might not use the term "cold reading." So some psychologists, to develop rapport with a client, may do similar, I think that's how it came to be there. --Abd (talk) 19:59, 3 July 2009 (UTC)[reply]

In movies and on television[edit]

The "In movies and on television" was removed, but I've put it back for the moment - My thought is that it seems valuable, as a number of shows (in particular The Mentalist) are based on fictional accounts of cold reading, so it seems like a valuable enough topic, given that it should probably be trimmed and turned into prose. - Bilby (talk) 06:41, 3 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I usually just kill trivia sections like this because they fill up with inconsequential rubbish and they're a magnet for editors who want to promote "their article" by basically spamming all kinds of trivial factoids. On the other hand this isn't the worst I've seen. One thing I'd ask is that editors consider carefully in which of these films and whatnot the cold read is a really important part of how audiences and critics perceive the film. Another thing is: please refactor this into prose in appropriate parts of the article, not this great big active nuisance attraction. --TS 08:31, 3 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

How can you have a page about cold reading and not mention John Edward? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:10, 16 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Another good example might be the reality TV show Long Island Medium. I've seen the show a few times, not by choice, and it looks like the medium, Theresa Caputo, is actually using cold reading. I'm not sure if she knows that this is what she's doing or if she really thinks that she's a medium but I do know that several psychic investigators consider her nothing more than a performer. JDZeff (talk) 22:46, 12 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Recent removal of two large text items[edit]

There seems to be a determination on the part of one or two editors to remove the following two text items:


Penn Jillette detailed another attempt at debunking claims of psychic ability on his March 1, 2007 episode of his Free FM Radio program. In a sequence planned for an episode of Penn & Teller's Sin City Spectacular, Jillette's girlfriend at the time (unnamed) was tutored in cold reading techniques and set up at a store front at a fake book signing. There, over the course of two days she used the cold reading techniques learned (as well as improvisational skills she had acquired in acting classes) to convince 20 people she was indeed psychic. The sequence was never aired due to the emotional toll this took on his girlfriend, as well as concern by the producers that they would be exploiting the people for whom she had done the "readings".


Former New Age practitioner Karla McLaren said, "I didn't understand that I had long used a form of cold reading in my own work! I was never taught cold reading and I never intended to defraud anyone; I simply picked up the technique through cultural osmosis." McLaren has further stated that since she was always very perceptive, she could easily figure out many of the issues her "readees" brought into sessions with them. In order to reduce the appearance of unusual expertise that might have created a power differential, she posed her observations as questions rather than facts. This attempt to be polite, she realized, actually invited the reader to, as McLaren has said, "lean into the reading" and give her more pertinent information.

This latter item is referenced by "cite journal |author=Karla McLaren |year=2004 |month=May |title=Bridging the Chasm between Two Cultures |journal=Skeptical Inquirer |url=|accessdate=2006-12-11 }}"

Perhaps we could discuss the proposed removals here. --TS 16:35, 15 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Hi there Tony. The first item is not sourced at all- and as the claims it makes are pretty large, this is quite an important fact. Without sources it could be surmised thus: She convinced people that she was psychic but they didn't want to show it etc etc. So this could be made up for all we know. Secondly, the latter item is sourced, yet it is from a complete nonentity, so her experiences are no more important than those of others. Spritebox (talk) 16:41, 15 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]
His March 1, 2007 episode of his Free FM Radio program looks like the reference. I oppose these removals. Verbal chat 16:42, 15 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I think the first item is a rather poorly supported anecdote and adds nothing to the article. The second one is fine. --TS 17:19, 15 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

In that case, what about the removal of the first part and leaving the second part be? Spritebox (talk) 17:31, 15 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]
The first part is also referenced, and you were reverted by several editors. If you want it removed you will have to show there is a new consensus favouring removal, or that it breaks policy somehow. It clearly meets WP:V. Verbal chat 17:16, 16 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]
It is an anecdote and adds nothing to the article. And kindly refrain from warning me just because you disagree with my edits. Spritebox (talk) 19:37, 16 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]
It does add to the article. It adds an insight from one of the leading magicians / psychic trick experts, and how cold reading can effect people in such a way that they claim a trick is a real ability. Despite what you have said above, it is clearly referenced. Verbal chat 20:28, 16 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Anonymous edits regarding psychics.[edit]

Several times in the last few weeks, anonymous editors have removed the term psychics from the lead paragraph without any edit summary explaining why. There's also been similar anonymous edits regarding "fake" psychics, or subjective commentary stating that cold reading is not used by psychics. As this is demonstrably false, I have also removed this.

If these anon editors (possibly the same person) want to state their reasons for their edits, and back it up with evidence, then please add your reasoning here.--Dmol (talk) 07:39, 16 August 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Its a NPOV issue. A web search for the term "cold reading" is most commonly associated with a skeptical statements regarding psychics. The primary reference for this article is such a text. When the term is rarely used by non-skeptics it regards specifically fake-psychics. - Steve3849talk 13:55, 16 August 2011 (UTC)[reply]

expanding the article and including examples of cold reading[edit]

Looking at a an investigation by the IIG giving great examples of cold reading. There are no examples in this article and wonder if others might think the article would be improved by some. Also James Underdown writes quite a good description of the numbers associated with the shot-gun approach when your audience is 200+/- people. I think it would be quite informative. </ref> [1] Sgerbic (talk) 23:42, 12 September 2011 (UTC)[reply]

I think it depends on what sort of example you are thinking of including. Long transcripts don't seem encyclopediac, but sort snippets of conversations that illustrate the basic techniques would be. We can also provide links in the External Links section to fuller dialogues and examples. Ashmoo (talk) 11:18, 13 September 2011 (UTC)[reply]
I'm on the road right at the moment, but will add this to my to-do list. I love the idea of examples (I understand things better with them) but will just have to see how short to make the edit and still make the point. I hope I can find that balance. Don't wait for me (other people reading this) there are a lot of examples from i.e. transcripts out there that will work. Including the IIG one I mentioned above. Sgerbic (talk) 19:54, 13 September 2011 (UTC)[reply]


  1. ^ "How come TV psychics seem so convincing?". The Straight Dope. 2003-11-18. Retrieved 2011-03-12.

Example of Entertainment by the Art of Cold Reading on stage by E[edit]

...I moved fairly quickly and was able to grab a card before they ran out. The card asked for my name, birthday and a question for E. She'd said it could be literally anything, so I wrote "How did the bee 'waggle dance' evolve?". The back of the card then asked for a private piece of information to further test her abilities, so I filled this in too then quickly headed to the stage, dropped my envelope into the bowl and made it back to my seat just before the lights dimmed. Halfway through the second act, E called out my name and told me the first song I ever played on a guitar. It was quite the thing.

E: [picks up a card] A guitar! Andy..Andrew...does that match anybody?

Me: [standing up and receiving the microphone from a scurrying usher] Yes, that's me.

E: A Taurean, right?

Me: Yes. [gasps from audience]

E: This is something musical, something to do with the guitar. I'm getting...It's the first song you played on the guitar, am I right?

Me: Yes.

E: Ok. About fifteen years old, right?

Me: No.

E: It is older?

Me: Oh, me or the song?

E: Never mind, one question at a time. Sing the song over in your head. Over and over. Try to project it to me.

Me: [actually doing so]. Ok.

E: I'm getting something about...pain, is that close?

Me: Yes, very.

E: And lots of pain. I can't quite figure it out. There are many people in pain? Something like that?

Me: That's very close.

E: I can't get the title I'm afraid, what is it?

Me: Everybody Hurts. [audience go into shock]

kazubaKazuba (talk) 20:41, 18 August 2012 (UTC)[reply]

In movies and on television[edit]

Please include Lie to me. The entire show is about cold reading. (talk) 07:14, 4 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]

NPOV issue with intro section[edit]

The lead section seems to imply that all psychics, fortune tellers, and medium use cold reading, either in part or in whole. A significant number of people would argue that that claim is at minimum unproven at this time. The lead show be clearer that while many skeptics allege cold reading as a primary technique of psychics/mediums/etc. whether intentionally or unconsciously, others argue (including at least some psychics) argue that that is either untrue or at least unproven at this time. I think most will agree that some skeptics/mediums/etc. do indeed use cold reading either intentionally or unconsciously either in part of in whole but it's disputed whether any true psychic ability has ever been 100% disproven as a possibility. Thus the intro section should reflect that fact. Their should at least be some mention in a sentence or two in the intro mentioning that their is a debate as to how much cold reading plays into all alleged psychics technique and that some people claim that some cold readers do not use cold reading either consciously or unconsciously at all. --Notcharliechaplin (talk) 05:24, 17 June 2013 (UTC)[reply]

The lead section doesn't seem to imply this...Regardless, lack of disproof and lack of plausibility are different things. Nothing can be "100% disproven" (we might all be brains in vats, for that matter) so invoking such a statement doesn't really mean anything. Arc de Ciel (talk) 06:49, 29 June 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I agree that the article needs to abide by WP:NPOV. However, it must also abide by WP:VERIFIABLE, and since no cold reader has been able to verify their abilities to WP standards, but some psychics have been verified to use cold reading, all statements will need to reflect this. Ashmoo (talk) 16:54, 1 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Cold Reading Edit Disagreement[edit]

Dmol. I see that you made an edit on the "Cold Reading" page.

You changed what appeared to me to be a perfectly good edit by an "unregistered editor". Your edit summary "This is the whole basic of their claim. Discuss changes on the talk page if you want to reach consensus." seems a bit non sequitur.

I think you are a little out of process. A revert of the previous edit would have been more appropriate if you disagreed with the content of "unregistered editor's" addition.

You restructured two sentences into one sentence with a conjuction of "i.e. scam artists" which is awkard and creates an unnecessay ambiguity. Additional, inclusion of "scam artists" lacks a necessary relivance as the article is considered to be addressing "Cold Reading" as a "communication technique".

On this basis I am reverting your edit. I would entertain your thoughts on the subject by discusion on the talk page if you want to reach consenus.

Osomite (talk) 01:31, 27 October 2019 (UTC)[reply]