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Published by Ian Rowland Limited (first published ). More Details ISBN Be the first to ask a question about The Full Facts Book of Cold Reading. The Full Facts Book Of Cold Reading by Ian Rowland at - ISBN X - ISBN - Ian Book Description Ian Rowland Limited, United States, . Seller Inventory # NU-ING Free Books! This book comes from: The Cold Reading Connection is maintained by Ian Rowland. The aim of the CRC is to.

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cold readings. Full Facts Books are supplied from the website of Ian Rowland Limited. I have no idea what the King of Wands and Eight of Coins are The Full Facts Book Of Cold Reading [Ian Rowland] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. 'Cold reading' can loosely be described as 'how to. The Full Facts Book of Cold Reading [Ian Rowland] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. A comprehensive guide to the most persuasive.

Introduction Cold reading and selling CR and cold calling 1 : accessing the prospect CR and cold calling 2 : drilling for information CR and staging the sales meeting CR and the illusion of knowledge Applying 'character' elements Applying 'facts' elements Applying prediction elements Retail Selling Cold Reading and romance CR and dating basics CR and conversational themes CR and building rapport Ethics Cold reading and criminal interrogation Contextual parallels CR and interrgation Legality Pass it on! Appendix Note 1: Market for psychic readings Note 2: Deception and entertainment Note 3: Making people like you Note 4: Sheehy's 'Passages' Note 5: Barnum experiments Note 6: 'Sherlock Strategy' Guessing Game answers Note 7: Probability and disasters Thanks and acknowledgements Section One Welcome to the Psychic Circus "In the matters of religion, it is very hard to deceive a man, and very hard to undeceive him. They are found throughout history. They are found throughout the world. And they defy explanation. They are psychic readings, and everyone has either had one or knows someone who has.

It is useful in selling, business negotiations, interviews, presentations and even romance! If you want to influence what another person thinks and feels about you, cold reading is the most effective technique in the world. Cold reading is also often used by people who pretend they give 'psychic' readings, and it enables them to give 'amazingly accurate' readings to complete strangers.

Read more about What is cold reading?. I have given more test conditions demonstrations that cold reading works than anyone else in the world. On a BBC documentary, two women said my readings were " See Demonstrations under test conditions. In my demonstrations, I always tell the truth in the end so that no-one is left thinking I'm really psychic. This is the definitive book on cold reading. It explains everything there is to know about this limitless technique!

How can you apparently tell complete strangers about names, dates and events that mean something to them? In business, how can you seemingly get inside the mind of every lead, customer, client, colleague and rival? This book explains all, and is the most authoritative ever written on the subject. Contents include: The Setup: how the cold reading process begins before one word of the reading is spoken The Reading Itself: what to say and how to say it 38 different elements from which any reading can be made Presentational Points: factors which add to the illusion The 'Win-Win Game': how psychics are right even when wrong!

Coping with sceptics: how psychics handle 'difficult' clients Please Read!!! In these cases, the person giving the reading may not necessarily claim to be psychic as such.

They may claim to have studied what they claim is a valid divinatory science, much as one might study medicine. Other examples in this category would include: Based on the lines and other aspects of the palm of the hand. Based on a sample of handwriting. Graphology should not be confused with handwriting analysis, which is a legitimate, well-accredited forensic science. Handwriting analysis is used, for example, to determine whether two samples of handwriting are from the same person.

Other types of readings are defined in terms of the specific psychic gift claimed by the person giving the reading. Among the more common ones are: Based on supposed communication with people who have died or, to use the trade jargon, 'passed into spirit'.

Also known as 'spiritualism'. Also known as 'exploiting bereaved and vulnerable people for financial gain'. This terms is perhaps the most generally applicable of all, and hence the least easily defined. Clairvoyants claim to see or perceive information via psychic sensitivity to some form of energy, vibrations, or impressions.

Touching an object and claiming thereby to sense information about a the owner or b events involving. Crystal-ball gazing. Claiming to see or perceive impressions in an orb or similar prop made of crystal glass. Aura readings. Based on what are said to be coloured human energy fields wholly fictitious except in the mind of the practitioner around a person's body.

Intuitive readings. Some psychics prefer to avoid any specific label, and claim only to have a form of loosely-defined intuitive gift, or perspective, which they believe puts them in a position to help people. This list covers the most popular types of psychic readings, but there are many more besides. Readings categorised by content The content of readings varies considerably. For present purposes, it will suffice to list three main categories. In order of progressively greater scope, they are: Readings which focus primarily on issues of health and well-being.

Aura readings often fall into this category. Other psychics may choose to specialise in this area e. Concerned not just with health but many other aspects of the client's character, personality and aptitude.

For example, this is usually the case with graphology. These readings are sometimes graced with such elegantly pretentious names as 'a psychic character profile' or 'intuitive character analysis'. The nomenclature tends to be shaped by prevailing market trends. Some psychics cover not just health and character, but also seem to perceive specific names, places, dates and events from the client's past, present and future.

Clairvoyants usually fall into this category. Readings categorised by delivery Psychic readings are delivered in four basic ways. One-to-one, in person. The most common form of psychic reading is a one-to-one encounter between the psychic and the client. This may take place at the psychic's own den of mystical One-to-one, remote. The reading does not have to entail an actual meeting, since psychic services are available by phone, over the airwaves, by post, or via the internet.

Group readings. Psychics sometimes prepare readings for groups. For example, an astrologer may be asked to prepare a horoscope for a group of people deemed to have a common astrological chart such as all the people in one sports team. Public readings. Some of the more ambitious psychics give public demonstrations in front of large audiences. This is often the case with spiritualists. Readings categorised by client As well as there being many different types of psychics and psychic readings, there are different types of clients.

The three commonest are: There are people who go to psychics for no very specific reason. They may simply be intrigued to see what happens, or regard the whole venture as a bit of fun. Women who work in the same office often organise a group visit to a reader "for a laugh".

More commonly, people go to see psychics because they are looking for help with regard to a specific issue, worry or problem. This could be anything from advice on romantic or career issues to assistance finding some lost item of great sentimental value.

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Some companies employ psychics to assist with recruitment and promotion decisions, or other aspects of the company's well-being.

This is alarmingly misguided, and could lead to all kinds of prejudice and unfairness. Now that we have defined 'cold reading' and 'psychic readings', we can define the terms used in the rest of this book. Terms used in this book In this book I will use the term 'psychic reading' to refer to any or all of the services described above under 'What is a psychic reading?

The only common factor is the claim, stated or implied, that a person can provide meaningful personal information other than that which can be accounted for by i the normal human senses, i. I will use the term 'client' to mean the person to whom the reading is given. I will use the term 'psychic' to mean anyone providing such a reading and using cold reading to do so. This point cannot be emphasised too much. Let us imagine for a moment that there are genuine psychics, and people who pretend to be psychic but.

This book is exclusively concerned with the activities of the second group. Incidentally, this book ought to be welcomed by genuine psychics, if there are any. It will help people to discriminate between authentic psychics, generously bestowing their gifts upon the world, and shameless fakes. Five popular misconceptions There are many misconceptions about cold reading.

Here are five of the most common, which we may as well get out of the way before we study the actual workings. Each of these may play a part in cold reading, but they are far from the whole story. Body language Some people suggest that psychics base their readings on the socalled 'body language' of the client.

In case you have been spared exposure to this 'science', body language is a popular term for the study of non-verbal communication, such as stance, facial expression, mannerisms and gestures. Body language may play a part in cold reading, as we will see later, but it usually plays only a minor role. It plainly cannot help with remote readings e.

Moreover, the body language theory cannot account for psychics coming up with names, dates, or details about the past. At the risk of seeming sceptical about everything which I am not , I might add that in my view body language is a very dubious 'science'. It seems to me that those aspects of body language which hold true tend to be obvious, while those which are not obvious are far from demonstrably true.

The Full Facts Book Of Cold Reading

However, this is not the place for a fuller discussion. Shrewd observation Some sceptics suggest that psychics rely on shrewd observation of the client to derive clues about character, career and interests. In these justly famous tales, the flamboyant detective sometimes demonstrates his ability to deduce many specific details about a person purely by shrewd observation.

This technique is indeed one factor in cold reading. Most cold readers have their own favourite tale of achieving an outstanding 'hit' through shrewd observation I have mine, and we will get to it later. However, this method clearly does not offer a comprehensive mechanism for psychic readings. Some psychics give readings to clients over the radio, by phone, or by post.

Others frequently produce information which could not feasibly be attributed to such clues. I would like to add that in my experience, the potential for deducing information in this way is far more limited in real life than it is made to seem in fiction, or in sceptical literature about cold reading.

However, even accepting that deductive observation can sometimes work very well, this is in some ways an irrelevance. Cold reading is not primarily concerned with providing accurate information, howsoever obtained. It is about applying a deceptive strategy to appear to provide information, when in fact there is little or none to offer. Fishing for clues Another popular theory holds that cold reading is all about 'fishing' for clues, which is to say trying to elucidate information from the client without this being obvious.

There is an element of truth to this. Cold reading can involve subtle ruses to obtain information as well as some which are as subtle as a dropped piano. However, 'fishing' is simply one small part of the complete explanation.

What is more, it is simply too bald a description for what is actually involved. The deception lies in the details of how the fishing is accomplished, and how the information obtained is then used in the context of the reading. Vagueness and generalisation Some people suggest psychic readings consist solely of vague and generalised statements that could mean almost anything.

I am surprised how often this misleading theory is offered by people who should know better, including supposedly well-informed sceptics. The 'vagueness' theory only holds good for the most trite and superficial aspects of the psychic industry.

A perfect and perfectly inane example would be the horoscopes printed by newspapers which a cannot find anything better to print and b are content to treat their readers as superstitious idiots. In all other cases, this theory does not hold water. Many cold readers give their clients very specific information, such as names, dates and detailed descriptions of people and places. Later on this book, you will hear about a psychic who told a client the exact name of her brother - without guesswork, clues or prior information.

In another case, a psychic accurately described In both cases, I was the 'psychic' involved. How was I able to produce such 'amazingly' specific information? All will be revealed later. There are those who suggest that anyone who consults a psychic, or believes in psychic readings, must be stupid, credulous or gullible. This is quite plainly at odds with the facts. There are countless clients who, by any criteria, are highly intelligent and perceptive people.

If you have a good grasp of how cold reading works, and how to block it, then it cannot be used on you. Otherwise, it can. It makes no difference how smart, highly-qualified or intellectually brilliant you may be. None of these qualities present any difficulty to a good cold reader. Incidentally, the same is true of any kind of skilled deception. If you know how the deception works, then you cannot be deceived by it. If you do not know, then you can. A rocketscientist can be fooled by a deceiver, because she knows about rocket science and not deception.

Expertise in one field does not automatically transfer to another. What is more, deception itself is an extremely vast and complex field. It can easily occupy a lifetime of study, and embraces many specialised arenas. Experts in one area such as card manipulation or gambling scams may know next to nothing about other areas such as metal-bending and cold reading. How the explanation is structured The rest of this section is divided into seven sub-sections. They are: The Set Up next page.

Techniques used by the psychic to get the session off to a good start, before the reading itself begins. The Principal Themes. The themes which provide the framework for the reading. The Elements of the Reading. The different kinds of statements and questions from which the reading is constructed. The Win-Win Game. How the psychic can turn a 'miss' into a 'hit', and otherwise recover from errors.

The Full Facts Book of Cold Reading - AbeBooks

Presentational Points. Aspects of presentation which can enhance the reading's effectiveness. Putting It All Together. How the psychic weaves all the above into a successful reading. Coping With Sceptics. How the psychic copes with highly sceptical or 'difficult' clients. Notes about the explanation The default example: I have therefore used a oneon-one tarot reading as my default example.

The same principles and techniques can be adapted to deliver all the other types of readings listed earlier. About the fictitious dialogues Section Two features numerous dialogues between psychic and client. These dialogues are purely hypothetical, and intended to illustrate typical psychic readings. They are based chiefly on my own experience, plus information from other performers and researchers.

Section Three, in contrast, contains transcripts of actual cold readings I have given. About the female pronoun Throughout this section I have used the female pronoun when referring to the psychic and the client. Male psychics and clients do exist, but they are very much in the minority. Why are most clients women? It is interesting to speculate why the great majority of clients are female.

It has nothing to do with gullibility, and anyone spouting such views should be tied up in a sack and jumped up and down on until they promise to talk sense. I think there are two possible reasons.

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The first is that many social and cultural factors encourage women to credit themselves with 'intuitive' gifts. This in turn may make them more receptive to the notion of someone being able to know things which are, by normal means, unknowable. Secondly, social and cultural factors also encourage men to cultivate an image of strength and independence, and to seek outside advice runs contrary to this image.

Women are less prone to this type of insecurity, and are generally readier to consult others for guidance. The Set Up Before the reading itself begins, the cold reader can take some preliminary steps to get the reading off to a good start.

The basic aim is to encourage a relaxed and co-operative atmosphere, in which the client will neither challenge nor impede the cold reading process. What follows is a list of some of the more common techniques for achieving this aim.

Some psychics may use all of them, while others may only use one or two. Meeting and greeting Some psychics specialise in 'mail order' or remote readings, but the majority are in the business of meeting and greeting people. If the psychic is a naturally likeable person, then meeting and greeting clients presents no problem.

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Other psychics, less gifted with natural charisma, may employ a range of techniques designed to help first encounters go well. There are many such techniques, and they tend to feature in books written for sales people and business negotiators. A full and comprehensive treatment of this subject is beyond the scope of this book. However, I would like to mention what I believe to be the single most important and effective technique of all: A mind script is simply a short, simple and positive affirmation about the meeting.

You mentally recite this to yourself as you prepare to meet someone, and continue to do so as the initial conversation gets under way. Here's a simple example: A young man embarking on that roller-coaster of hazard and joy, the 'first date', might usefully run a script that says something like this: When you 'run' a mind script, you automatically make a big difference to the way you come across to the other person.

A mind script can affect your posture and 'body language', tone of voice, facial expression, gestures and much else besides. It is. In my opinion, mind scripts are very useful and effective. As such, I would not be at all surprised if a few psychics have learned to use them when meeting clients. Encouraging co-operative interpretation The psychic takes care to mention that the tarot is not an exact science - it involves some elements of interpretation.

She might use other terms, such as 'intuitive understanding' or 'sensitivity'. The point is to foster the notion that both she and the client are supposed to work together and co-operate.

For example, the psychic might say something like: Sometimes, it's not very clear, like looking through a mist, and the exact meaning will actually be clearer to you than it is to me! So do bear that in mind, won't you? The real point, obviously enough, is to encourage the client to volunteer information and to help the psychic get things right.

Many clients require little persuasion to do this, and some turn out to be breathtakingly supportive. If the psychic offers a statement which is simply wrong, some clients actually apologise for not being able to see how it fits!

This is one of the most important aspects of the Set Up, and one which applies to many different kinds of psychic readings. The basic gist is always the same: Establishing an intimate atmosphere The psychic tries to establish a fairly intimate atmosphere for reading. The specifics are largely a matter of personal style. The psychic might use a slightly softer voice than normal, or adopt a very sympathetic and non-confrontational stance to foster rapport.

Anything which conveys a sense of welcoming calm is good. Decoration and 'ambience' may also play a part.

Psychics who operate from their own premises may give readings in a room specifically decorated for the purpose, featuring framed prints of a suitably mystical nature, soft lighting or candles, incense, relaxing 'ambient' music i.

In effect, they are turning the reading into a theatrical performance, and setting the stage accordingly. It would be wrong to suggest that all psychics go down this route. Some prefer to cultivate the clean-cut image of a professional business consultancy. To this end, they may use appropriate furnishings e. No matter how this intimate atmosphere is created, the point is to dissuade the client from being too challenging or assertive. It also promotes the sense of participation in a ritual.

Rituals are a timehonoured way of constraining normal mental responses including the "Wait a minute, this is all nonsense" response and thereby conditioning behaviour. This is why rituals are found in every religion and military organisation. The more time we invest in a ritual, the harder it becomes to break free of it. There are many ways of doing this, some more obvious than others. One of the commonest is to display testimonials from previous clients. Another is to display certificates from some palace of erudition such as the 'Something-somewhere Centre for Tarot Studies'.

These testimonials and certificates may be genuine. Then again, in this day of desk-top publishing and 'instant print' shops, anyone can create and frame their own.

I certainly did, and had great fun doing so. Another neat ruse is to have a couple of appropriate reference books on hand, encouraging the idea that the tarot or whatever the chosen discipline happens to be is a vast field of study.

It is a cute touch, in the course of a reading, to reach for some weighty reference tome in order to 'clarify' a fine point of interpretation!

One more way to boost credentials is to use good quality props. Tarot cards which are well-made, and beautifully illustrated, carry more conviction than ones resembling free prizes from a cereal packet. Games Systems Inc. The cards are beautiful, captivating and of excellent quality, and I endorse them wholeheartedly.

I should add that I have no connection with U. Games Systems, and this is an unbiased endorsement. That having been said, if U. Games Systems were appreciative of my comments, and offered me many free packs of cards or large sums of money as a charming gesture of goodwill, I should be happy to accept such tokens without compromising my integrity in any way.

They might like to bear in mind that in future editions of this book my endorsements may have 'evolved' in the direction of other card companies who are, perhaps, a little more generous in their appreciation of my valuable judgements. It can help to use cards which both look and feel as if they are very old. One way is to go to a card collector and actually download cards which have plenty of miles on the clock, so to speak. The other is to get a new deck and artificially age the cards.

Even the amateur forger's all-purpose ageing formula - a dip in cold weak tea plus gentle baking in the oven the cards, not the forger - can produce creditable results.

What the psychic actually says is also obviously a factor. In my own readings, I usually take care to 'casually' mention the many years I have studied 'my field', to hint at some of the VIPs who use my services, and to make veiled allusions to moving in exalted celebrity circles. Establishing the belief system As well as establishing her own credentials, as above, the psychic also establishes the credentials of the tarot, or whatever divinatory system is on offer.

This leads the client to take the proceedings seriously, if not necessarily solemnly. For example, the psychic may refer to the tarot's long history, or to how well accredited it is, or to the many clients who have benefited from its insights.

Such remarks condition the client to respect the psychic proceedings, rather than waking up to how ludicrous they are. They steer the client to view the reading as a psychic experience, In fact, the client is simply handing over hard cash to have someone talk to her.

This initial bolstering of the belief system also discourages awkward questions. It does not help proceedings if the client asks how 72 bits of pasteboard, bearing coloured drawings derived from medieval European sources, are supposed to shed any light on anything at all - let alone one's current romantic options and career prospects.

This aspect of the set up is continued during the reading itself, as we will see later. In passing, I should mention that this kind of ploy seems especially common among astrologers. Some of them drone on about everything from ancient Babylonians to famous politicians in such a way as to make one's ears bleed.

However, most are smart enough to realise that boring the client to sleep within the first five minutes is not considered good technique. Supplying a pre-emptive excuse for failure In her introductory remarks, the psychic usually offers an up-front excuse for any outright failures which may arise later. She also makes it clear that she does not claim to get everything right all the time. For example, she might say something like: It would be wonderful to be absolutely spot on all the time, but after all, I'm only human, and I can only do my best for you.

Do you understand? It also prepares the client to help as much as possible most clients do not take any pleasure in seeing the psychic struggle. Said in a cheerful and appeasing way, such remarks can get readings off to a flying start. The real purpose, of course, is to make it easier for the psychic to retreat from any completely wrong statements that she makes in the course of the reading.

Checking for recent readings The psychic asks if the client has had a reading before, and if so how long ago. The main reason for doing this is to avoid inadvertently giving conflicting readings to the same person!

Provided two or three months have passed, any discrepancies between the last reading and the current one can be attributed to. The psychic may also take the trouble to mention that she uses a very unconventional system, or one that she herself has evolved over many years. This helps to cover up any discrepancies between what she says and what other psychics may have said. Setting the client at ease The psychic tries to be as welcoming, charming and innocuous as possible.

She strives to establish a convivial and friendly rapport, and to get on friendly first-name terms if this is at all appropriate. This may sound like nothing more than common courtesy, but it is not without purpose. The psychic wants to overcome any natural reserve and defensiveness the client may have, and to engender as much co-operation as possible. Some psychics, especially mediums and those whose work has a spiritual flavour, like to offer cute and endearing introductory statements along these lines: For example, some clients are wary that the psychic will see too much exposing darkest secrets!

It is a good idea for the psychic to try and eliminate such apprehension, like this: We're here to look at the positive trends in your life, and it's really all about helping you to make the most of what lies ahead. There may be a lot more good news than you realise!

Of course, there's a mix of light and shade in everyone's life, I mean, that's reality, isn't it? But I like to concentrate on the sunshine rather than the rain, do you see what I mean? This is the first of seven sub-sections into which Section Two is divided. Next, the principal themes which psychic readings involve. The Principal Themes So far we have looked at how the psychic tries to set up the reading in a way which is likely to promote its success.

The next stage is to actually start the reading itself. Psychic readings consist of themes what the psychic talks about and elements what she actually says. We will look the elements in the next section. Themes provide the underlying shape and structure for a reading, and ensure that it is relevant to the subject's life.

Cold readers rely on four chief themes: Love, romance and relationships Money and material comforts Career and progression Health and well-being There are also three minor themes. These are generally not as important as the main four, but they can prove very fruitful. Travel Education and the pursuit of new knowledge Ambitions, hopes and dreams Note that 'Travel' can be interpreted literally "A journey across water" or figuratively "A voyage from loner to lover" as the psychic pleases.

These are the themes which experience has shown are most important, to most clients, most of the time. Now we can look at the actual elements of which the reading is composed. But what does the psychic actually say? For very simple readings, the psychic may rely on what is more or less a set text, or limited variations on a largely unchanging script. However, such readings are seldom very convincing, and do not constitute cold reading in the true sense. Cold reading does not involve a rehearsed script.

It consists of numerous different types of statements and questions which can appear more significant or meaningful than they really are. I am going to call each type of statement an 'element'. The cumulative effect of these elements is to create the illusion that a reading of a psychic or mystical nature is taking place. I am going to describe the 38 most useful and productive elements I know. I have given them pet names for ease of reference and readability, and divided them into four groups: These are not meant to be hard and fast divisions.

Some elements listed in one group could just as easily have been listed in another. In reading about these elements, you may like to bear in mind that later sections deal with: Elements about character This first group of elements are chiefly concerned with the client's personality and character. T h e Rainbow Ruse The Rainbow Ruse is a statement which credits the client with both a personality trait and its opposite.

Here is an example: There are countless variations along these lines - being both introvert and extrovert, shy and confident, responsible and irresponsible.

It covers all the possibilities from one extreme to the other, just as a rainbow encompasses all the colours. The Rainbow Ruse is a very common element in cold readings. It sounds good, seems perceptive, and wins a good response from most clients. Here is another example: First, the psychic thinks of a common personality trait. Then she describes the client as both having, and lacking, this quality. Finally, she joins the two halves in a single statement with some reference to time, context, mood or potential.

The example given above uses the link "when the circumstances are right". Other good links are "at other times" and "yet you also have the potential to be". As well as being simple and effective, this element also affords plenty of scope for some gentle humour aimed at typical human failings. Very few people are outgoing all the time, or introverted all the time. Most of us manifest both tendencies from time to time according to. Avoiding the quantifiable The lack of any quantifiable refutation is an important aspect of the Rainbow Ruse.

These types of statement do not really work when dealing with quantifiable characteristics. To see what I mean, imagine that in the course of a reading an inexperienced cold reader decides to touch on career issues.

She might decide to comment on the client's facility with computers and new technology: However, at times you have found this area quite daunting.

Like many people, the era of the microchip has occasionally left you baffled. The trait under discussion is quantifiable, and hence susceptible to factual refutation. The client might reply: I've never found it daunting in the slightest. Nonetheless, this admittedly unlikely example illustrates why the Rainbow Ruse element is usually applied to less quantifiable characteristics.

It also illustrates the need to couch psychic readings in terms of potential and capacity, rather than actuality and fact. Fine Flattery Fine Flattery statements are designed to flatter the client in a subtle way likely to win agreement.

Usually, the formula involves the client being compared to "people in general" or "most of those around you", and being declared a slight but significant improvement over them. Consider this bad example: The first problem is that it looks and Most people are suspicious of this kind of blatant flattery and reject it out of hand.

Secondly, it lacks any relevance to the psychic system which is - in theory - being used. Thirdly, it omits the reference to other people. It is just too dull to sound as if it carries any great insight. The same statement can easily be turned into a successful piece of Fine Flattery. Suppose the psychic has been given a watch that belongs to someone, and is giving a psychometric reading a character reading supposedly based on an article owned or used by the client.

It might go something like this: I'd say perhaps this person is that little bit more honest and conscientious than many people tend to be.

Not a saint, not perfect, but let's just say that when it really matters, this is someone who does understand the importance of being trustworthy. I feel an energy suggesting this person has good values which they try to live up to, although it has to be said they perhaps don't always succeed. However, it sounds as if it is psychic in nature, full of insight, and a perceptive statement about a specific individual. Honesty is a good characteristic to use as the basis for a Fine Flattery element, since the vast majority of people are inclined to think of themselves as honest.

Several other personality traits can be used in the same way. Among the more reliable are: They always work, always impress, and can carry a thin reading a long way. I have learned to keep them in reserve at all times, like emergency parachutes. Here they are: Suppose that the medium is, so It might come out sounding something like this: I have your late sister with me now.

She tells me she wants you to know that she always admired you, even if she didn't always express it well. She tells me that you are She says she always thought of you as quite a wise person, not necessarily to do with book-learning and examinations. She's telling me she means wise in the ways of the world, and in ways that can't be said of everyone.

She's laughing a little now, because she says this is wisdom that you have sometimes had to learn the hard way! She says you are intelligent enough to see that wisdom comes in many forms.

For example, if the psychic flatters the client as being very "open-minded", this increases the chances that the client will accept the reality of psychic ability in general. The Psychic Credit Psychic Credits are character statements which credit the client with some form of psychic or intuitive gift, or at the very least a receptivity to others who possess such gifts.

This may be seen as a very specific application of Fine Flattery. It is a very common element, found in all sorts of readings. As with the Fine Flattery element, it is not good enough to simply praise the client and hope she likes it. You're psychic too! Here is an example of the sort of thing a tarot reader might say: Of course we all have these gifts, but they do vary from person to person. In your case, it's the second card in the higher triad, which is devoted to your personal profile.

This suggests you have very strong and vivid intuitive gifts, and good instincts which will serve you well if you learn to trust them. Since you also have the Eight of Coins in support of the same line, I would say that you have a very fine, almost psychic kind of acumen when it comes to dealing with material goods and financial affairs.

You can perceive value in ways that not everyone else can.

A Simple Introduction To Cold Reading

I have no idea what the King of Wands and Eight of Coins are However, they sound good, which is all that really matters. The Psychic Credit is very widely deployed in many different readings. Rare indeed is the psychic who would inform a client that she lacks this kind of faculty.

The Psychic Credit is often accompanied by little "proofs" which can go like this: You're probably the type of person who will be thinking about someone you haven't heard from in a while, and then out of the blue they phone you at that very moment! However, as sceptics never tire of telling us, it is far from evidence of psychic intuition.

You probably think about people you know fairly often, and you probably receive many phone calls. Usually, there's no link and you don't think twice about it. When, by chance, the person in your thoughts does call, it seems surprising and you remember the incident. Male and female psychic credits There are many similar anecdotal offerings which can lure clients into crediting themselves with psychic sensitivity.

Here is a fairly common one which is offered to female clients: The sort of thing where you feel you ought to do your face and smarten up your make-up for no reason, and then suddenly there's a knock on the door and it turns out to be someone you're really glad you looked your best for. You're very shrewd in your dealings with people. You can read people very well, like a sort of sixth-sense that is more developed in you than in most people. You make a very good businessman or negotiator. Your intuitive side means you have a lot more rapport with women than many men, and this is a characteristic which, whether or not you realise it, a lot of women find very appealing about you.

The Psychic Credit is a very dependable cold reading element, and has the obvious additional benefit of bolstering the belief system which supports psychic readings which we saw is part of The Set Up, 'Establishing the belief system'. Sugar Lumps Sugar Lump statements offer the client a pleasant emotional reward in return for believing in the junk on offer. In general, the Sugar Lump relates to the client's willingness to embrace the psychic 'discipline' involved in the reading, and to benefit from the insights thereby gloriously revealed: The tarot often relates more to feelings and intuition than to cold facts, and your own very strong intuitive sense could be one reason why the tarot seems to work especially well for you.

The impressions I get are much stronger with you than with many of my clients. This is as sly as it is insidious, since the more the client is disposed to believe in the nonsense being sold, the easier it is to a send her away happy and b keep her coming back for more. Sugar Lumps can also be used to weaken resistance to psychic nonsense, or to soften sceptical attitudes. In these cases, the Sugar Lump is modified to point out what a nice, loveable person the client could be, if only she would be less sceptical.

This is a shame, because you're blocking yourself off from a lot of light, and love, that could be yours. There are indications here of a need to learn to take a broader look at life, and to be more open to new ideas - even if they may seem strange at first.

You know, you won't come to any harm if you lower your defences a little, and take a peek at the insights on offer. Who knows, you might find a few of the answers you've been looking for! The Sugar Lump may also stress how negative it is to doubt, to question or to disbelieve.

In addition, the psychic may be inclined to throw in a little science-trashing just for added effect. It is all good for trade. The Jacques Statement This element consists of a character statement based on the different phases of life which we all pass through.

Jacques Statements are derived from common rites of passage, widely-recognised life patterns, and typical problems which we all encounter on the road to mature adulthood. In this context, many cold reading sources refer to a book called 'Passages' written in by award-winning New York author and journalist Gail Sheehy see Appendix note 4. This exceptional book analyses what Sheehy has dubbed "the predictable crises of adult life", and remains the pre-eminent reference work for anyone wishing to study this territory for cold reading or any other purpose.

My own copy is very well-thumbed. Here is an example of a Jacques Statement, taken from my own tarot, astrological and clairvoyant readings. It is most appropriate for someone in their mid- to late thirties or early forties: I suspect that deep down, there is a part of you that sometimes wants to just scrap everything, get out of the rut, and start over again - this time doing things your way.

However, in the context of a supposedly psychic reading, with the correct presentation and vocal delivery, it can be highly effective. Many clients on the receiving end respond with open-mouthed amazement that the cards or stars, or handwriting etc. The Frustrated Talent Here is another Jacques Statement which is suitable for a younger adult, say in her early twenties, who is probably still developing her career: There have been more than one or two occasions when you had to struggle to get people to let you show what you can do.

While you are mature enough to. This element is applicable to many kinds of psychic readings. I know from experience that it sits very well in a tarot or astrological reading. I am the first to admit that many of the elements listed here are far from guaranteed, and can go wrong hence the later section on getting out of trouble, 'The Win-Win Game'.

However, a well-delivered Jacques Statement rarely meets with anything but wholehearted agreement. Greener Grass The Greener Grass element is based on the fact that we all retain some fascination with the options in life that we did not take.

You could say they form their own sub-set of the Jacques Statements referred to above. There are many examples of these fundamental life choices. People who have always lived in congested, urban areas often yearn for what they see as the peace and freedom of a more rustic way of life.

Conversely, those who have spent all their years in the countryside may long for, or at least be curious about, the ease, convenience and reported excitement of urban life. Few of us go through life without sometimes suspecting the grass is greener on the other side of the fence.

The office denizen, locked into a fixed and rather dull routine, often develops a craving for more variety, and a heightened pace of change. Conversely, the high-achieving jet-setter, rarely spending two days in the same country, may yearn for more stability and some respite from airports and airline food , hotels and long-distance calls.

And so it goes on. Life involves making finite choices from infinite options, and all of us are prone to wondering what would have happened if we had chosen differently.

For example, suppose the client appears to have all the trappings of a successful executive career. The psychic might say something along these lines: You are the sort of person who delivers results, and this characteristic has brought its rewards.

However, it has also brought its penalties. Although you would not necessarily advertise them too openly, I sense some feelings here of a potential desire for more domestic security, and a more stable home life. I would not go so far as to say this has been a serious problem for you, but I believe your loyalty to your career has not always delivered the returns you expected. I sense that from time to time, you find yourself contemplating your more domestic instincts, and wondering if they could perhaps be allowed more room to flourish.

I think this has been an area of conflict within you, and I foresee that you will take steps to resolve this issue within the next 18 months or so. Here is the same Greener Grass statement as before, turned on its head: Not everyone can be a good home-maker, but you can, and you are. However, the stability and the stimulation of family life has also brought its penalties. Although you would not necessarily advertise them too openly, I sense some feelings here of a potential desire for more career progress, or at least being able to find expression and fulfilment beyond the four walls of your home.

I would not go so far as to say this has been a serious problem for you, but I believe your loyalty to your home and family has not always delivered the returns you expected. I sense that from time to time you find yourself contemplating your more professional or academic instincts, and wondering if they could perhaps be allowed more room to flourish.

Although trite in the extreme, it smacks of genuine psychic insight and the wisdom of the ancients helpfully distilled. Greener Grass statements have always been a fixed part of my cold reading repertoire. I enjoy making them up, and I find they work well. They are also very good for 'padding out' a thin section of a reading, since they tend to expand to anecdotal length, and offer many opportunities for extemporisation. Barnum Statements These are artfully generalised character statements which a majority of people, if asked, will consider to be a reasonably accurate description of themselves.

Here is a selection: Barnum, a legendary showman and circus-owner, who was said to have 'something to please everybody'. Barnum statements have been the subject of a number of studies conducted by psychologists. In one study, students were given what they were told were individual astrological readings, based on their birth dates and star signs.

They were then asked to rate the accuracy of the readings. The great majority of the students rated their readings as highly accurate. Only then was it revealed that in fact the 'readings' were all identical. The all-purpose reading merely consisted of several Barnum Statements strung together. See Appendix note 5 for references.

Obviously, a reading made up in this way would be rather limited in scope. However, it would be perfectly adequate for some situations. I have seen more than one article in sceptical literature suggesting that cold reading consists largely of Barnum Statements. This is highly misleading. Barnum Statements may be useful as a way to establish some initial rapport between the psychic and the client, but they are too generalised to sustain a reading of any depth and detail.

Barnum statements and 'forking' It is possible to get more mileage out of Barnum Statements by combining them with a technique called 'Forking'. We will look at this technique later, under Presentational Points, but let me briefly explain it here. Take a simple Barnum Statement, like this: If the client seems to be broadly in agreement with this, the psychic can develop and strengthen the idea: You have a tendency to be your own worst enemy in this regard, and this self-critical side to your character has held you back on more than one occasion.

You have learned to accept yourself, and to be reconciled with your own special mix of gifts and skills. You have learned how damaging it can be to be too self-critical, and all credit to you for having matured past the self-critical stage. In this way, plain and simple Barnum Statements can provide the basis for some relatively sophisticated readings. Progress Review This concludes the first group of elements, which concerned character and personality.

Now we can move on to the second group, concerning facts and events in the client's life. Elements about facts and events These elements chiefly concern facts such as names and numbers which mean something to the client, and events in the client's distant or recent past.

Elements which deal with future events are dealt with separately see 'Mainly about the future' later. The Fuzzy Fact A Fuzzy Fact is an apparently factual statement which is formulated so that a it is quite likely to be accepted b it leaves plenty of scope to be developed into something more specific. Let us consider some common examples.

Geographical Here is a typical example that might form part of a tarot reading, assuming the reading is taking place somewhere in the United States: This example obviously varies with the geographical context of the reading. In Britain, the line could be " The essential idea is to specify a large, distant part of the world with which the client may well have some sort of connection. Note that the psychic has not said whether this link is professional, social, domestic or romantic.

She has not specified any particular part of Europe, which is a vast place likewise America, or Australia. She has not said if the connection is current or past or in the future. However, if the client has any connection at all with the named part of the world, no matter how vague, she can be encouraged to supply the requisite details, for instance that her husband's family once lived there. The psychic then builds on this feedback to massage the initially vague statement into something more specific.

The example given above might be massaged like this: Now why might this impression be coming through? His family comes from Scotland but it's not Edinburgh.

This is not just useful during the reading itself. It also affects how the reading is remembered afterwards. A statement such as this: Obviously, the mis-remembered version is far more impressive than the actual statement the psychic originally made.

I will have more to say about developing statements into miracles later on, in the section on Presentational Points. The fact that clients often remember what was said inaccurately is well-known to sceptics. Non-believers are often challenged to "explain" how a particular psychic could have delivered some piece of devastatingly accurate information. Of course it is the tidied-up, specific version which is offered for analysis, not the Fuzzy Fact which was originally given.

Medical This particular version of the Fuzzy Fact is often found in spiritualist readings. For example, if the medium is pretending to receive information about how someone passed into spirit died , she might say something like this: A great many people die of illnesses directly related to the heart and lungs.

However, the chances of a hit are even better than they may seem, given the rather loose way in which readings tend to be assessed.

For example, if the person died because of kidney failure, the psychic could claim legitimately that this obviously affected circulation, which is related to the functioning of the heart.

Hence the initial statement is interpreted to be at least as right as it is wrong. This particular version of the Fuzzy Fact can also be massaged in other ways. If the client claims that this statement about the "chest area" is wrong, the psychic may develop the statement like this: How did he pass, my dear?

What he's saying to me is that the accident triggered a heart attack just the split second before he passed over. Many psychics give readings which incorporate a degree of health diagnosis, even if this is not their main focus.

For example, a graphologist or a tarot reader might well say: Since this might involve the spine itself, the muscles, or the skin in that area, there is plenty of scope for a hit.

Factual Yet another version of the Fuzzy Fact relates to facts and events. Here is an example that might form part of an astrological reading: This could be you, or someone's career that affects you. The psychic does not say what is meant by "progress" or "transition". It could be taken to mean getting a job, losing a job, promotion, demotion, relocation to a new office, a bonus, a pay rise, a change of responsibilities, getting a Even the possibility of any of these things will count as a hit - they do not actually need to have happened.

Given that the psychic says this could refer to either the client or someone she knows, it stands a very high chance of being counted as a hit, and of being remembered as much more specific than it really was. Another common example which often features in the spiritualist repertoire is the "uniform".

With reference to some late member of the family, the gifted medium might say: Now does this make sense to you? If the deceased belongs to this category, it's a hit!