Psychics, who are also known as mentalists, mediums, illusionists or fortune tellers, are men and women who claim to have ESP powers (extrasensory perception) such as telepathy and clairvoyance. While normal people learn information through traditional and scientifically sound methods such as simple conversations, physical interactions, and observations, psychics have a rare ability to know things by using the supernatural powers of their own minds. When a psychic meets privately with a client or performs on stage, he does either a cold or hot reading.
What is a Cold Reading?
When the psychic interacts with a complete stranger, he is performing a “cold” reading. In a cold reading the psychic knows absolutely nothing about the other person – not even his name – but somehow manages to deduce facts about him that were never willingly shared. Believers in psychic phenomena point to cold readings as proof of some misunderstood, magical ability of the human brain. They argue that only supernatural abilities can explain how cold psychic readings can be so accurate.
What is a Hot Reading?
A hot psychic reading is the opposite of a cold one. The psychic’s client is not a stranger, but also not a friend or even an acquaintance. Although they are meeting face to face for the first time in a hot reading, the psychic goes into the session or stage act with information already in hand. They may have overheard a client’s conversation while he was in line for a show, listened to a phone call, looked into their background for their family history, or simply explored their social media profiles to find out about their current job, their education, hobbies, dreams, and family members like children or a husband / wife. The difference between that and a cold reading is how the psychic comes by the client’s information.
The ultimate result of hot and cold readings are the same: the psychic appears to know more than he should. The person on the receiving end of the reading is unable to understand how the psychic could know what they know, and they conclude that unexplained, paranormal abilities must be involved. Once the psychic proves his ability to know about that person’s present and past, that person will trust the psychic when he predicts the future.
What Do the Critics Say?
Critics say that every psychic interaction is a hot reading, meaning that psychics already know about the person. They claim that cold readings are nothing more than educated guesses. Much can be deduced about someone based on general observations: accent, age, fashion and hair style choices, gender, race, ethnicity, and body language. If someone is wearing a religious symbol on their clothing or on accessories like bracelets and necklaces, the psychic could easily guess what their beliefs are. The best online psychics must always appear to know more than he actually does. This manipulates the person on the receiving end of the reading into believing that the psychic has supernatural abilities.