This article is about the communication technique. Without prior knowledge, a practiced cold-reader can quickly obtain a great deal of information by analyzing the person’s body language, age, clothing or fashion, hairstyle, gender, sexual orientation, religion, race or ethnicity, level of education, manner of speech, place of origin, etc. Cold readings commonly employ high-probability guesses, quickly picking up on signals as to whether their guesses are in the right direction or not, then emphasizing and the full facts book of cold reading pdf download chance connections and quickly moving on from missed guesses. Psychologists believe that this appears to work because of the Forer effect and due to confirmation biases within people.
One of the most crucial elements of a convincing cold reading is a subject eager to make connections or reinterpret vague statements in any way that will help the reader appear to make specific predictions or intuitions. While the reader will do most of the talking, it is the subject who provides the meaning. After determining that the subject is cooperative, the reader will make a number of probing statements or questions, typically using variations of the methods noted below.
In general, while revelations seem to come from the reader, most of the facts and statements come from the subject, which are then refined and restated by the reader so as to reinforce the idea that the reader got something correct. Subtle cues such as changes in facial expression or body language can indicate whether a particular line of questioning is effective or not. Because the majority of time during a reading is spent dwelling on the “hits” the reader obtains, while the time spent recognizing “misses” is minimized, the effect gives an impression that the cold reader knows far more about the subject than an ordinary stranger could. James Underdown from Center for Inquiry and Independent Investigations Group said, “In the context of a studio audience full of people, cold reading is not very impressive.
Underdown explains cold-reading from a mathematical viewpoint. A typical studio audience consists of approximately 200 people, divided up into three sections. A conservative estimate assumes each person knows 150 people.
This means that when John Edward or James Van Praagh asks the question “‘Who’s Margaret? Margaret in the 10,000 people in the database of that section.