Be the first to ask a question about The Full Facts Book of Cold Reading .. There's a pdf of the book available here: mmoonneeyy.info~radek/mess/Ian% The Full Facts Book of Cold Reading [Ian Rowland] on mmoonneeyy.info *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. A comprehensive guide to the most persuasive. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in cold reading – a process used by professional psychics, mind readers, . the deluded psychic extremely convincing – far more so, in fact, than a less skilled cold reader. .. This is the full-blown mid-life crisis of popular culture.
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Free Books! This book comes from: mmoonneeyy.info The Cold Reading Connection is maintained by Ian Rowland. The aim of the CRC is to. I cannot prove that psychics use cold reading. But I can give you all the information you need to decide for yourself. Welcome to the full facts about cold reading. Ian Rowlands - The Full Facts Book Of Cold Reading ( MB eBook, $ FREE) 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.
Employers generally look for experience, and young people cannot gain experience until someone gives them a job. Once I've finished reading this, watch out when you encounter me. Readings categorised by type There are many different types of psychic readings. You could say they form their own sub-set of the Jacques Statements referred to above. Now, much more than before, I can see why the Catholic Church is so opposed to psychic powers. He told me that his tutor had told him that Ian Rowland's Full facts Book on Cold Reading was the definitive book on the subject - so I bought a copy and have never regretted it.
Ian Rowlands Format: 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? Sounds fascinating. Ah, well. View all 11 comments. Jan 14, Antonio Pizzo rated it it was amazing.
Per fortuna, l'autore fornisce anche una serie di strategie per "neutralizzare" la cold reading. Niente di complicato nemmeno qui, a conferma di quanto detto prima. This is a must read for anybody who wants to learn more about Cold Reading! Jun 23, Craig Dickson rated it really liked it. Very interesting material about Cold Reading and techniques used by fake psychics and mediums etc to provide seemingly accurate information about people's lives. This was a re-read after many years, and the techniques all still seem relevant.
Some of the writing is a little cringey, but the detailed information is stuff I've never seen online or anywhere else. Definitely worth a read if you have an interest in psychics, or wish to develop your bullshitting skills! Nov 17, Ben Daghir rated it really liked it. What have I learned from this book?
I certainly continue to believe psychic reading is absurd 2. Listening skills are of utmost value 3. Manipulation, much like other forms of evil, always turn inward on themselves 4. The attentive listener, not the speaker, is always in the driver's seat 5.
Now, much more than before, I can see why the Catholic Church is so opposed to psychic powers. It's a manipulative lie, a twisting and turning of the client, and an intelligent form of manipulation. I respect the art, but certainly not the act. This book is hilarious in that way that you spend the entire time thinking, "oh wow, that's all there is to it? It lays everything out precisely, even providing scripts from actual encounters done by the author on television and radio.
Rowland does a great job of keeping everything down to earth, and in the form of Houdini and James Randy, really makes a clear line be This book is hilarious in that way that you spend the entire time thinking, "oh wow, that's all there is to it? Rowland does a great job of keeping everything down to earth, and in the form of Houdini and James Randy, really makes a clear line between what is entertainment and what is purely taking advantage of others.
I could see myself flipping back to this over and over in the future, as it is basically a really entertaining textbook. If you've ever been curious about this odd "business," it does a great job of laying everything out clearly and simply. Nov 30, Denis rated it really liked it. Cold reading techniques and concepts neatly organized in a well-put-together book. Helpful advice on how to create the right conversation atmosphere.
Very down-to-earth, funny and first and foremost definitively not psychic. Particularly enjoyed the sections on character readings: The sections on "non-psychic" contexts was good to make the knowledge transferable, although the book was very tailored to the specific context of psychic readings.
Mar 27, Keith Blakemore-Noble rated it it was amazing Shelves: A very interesting and comprehensive examination of the various Cold Reading techniques used by psychics, mediums, astrologers, etc. Goes into detail about the different techniques, explaining what they are, how they work, and giving useful examples. Including some wonderful examples of readings given by the author to recipients who are most effusive about their accuracy despite being completely made up!
Also offers various methods for blocking Cold Reading. Well worth studying. Jan 21, Alan rated it it was amazing Shelves: One of the better books on cold reading. And aimed at the want to be mentalist, so it is not a cheap book.
Very few of the good mentalist books are. Glad to have re-read this one, and I can see reading it a few more times. I wish I had these skills, or just a way to practice them often. There was a moment at the end of the book where he semi-embraces the pick-up artist community, which is gross and hard to read without wincing.
Except for that, I still enjoyed the thinking that went into the book, and appreciated the clarity with which he breaks down methods and strategies for cold reading.
I also enjoyed his emphasis on skepticism. Sep 30, Shoody Something rated it it was amazing. Even though I'm already familiar with most of the techniques here like Barnum effect and Sherlock Holmes,graphology etc , I seriously loved how it's all organized in this book!
Aug 14, Will Mego rated it it was ok Shelves: It was exactly what the opening sections say it will be. However, it wasn't what the title seems to claim it will be.
I suppose that, in and of itself, is one of the methods described in the book. So it wasn't for me. Feb 12, Michiel Tummers rated it really liked it. A good introductory text to cold reading. Anybody interested in the subject , interested in communication techniques, would be psychics and true believers should at least do the effort to read this. Jan 07, Benjamin rated it really liked it.
One of the most informative and enlightening books I've recently read. 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. 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! Moreover, many who do not wear a uniform themselves nonetheless work in places where others do, and this form the basis for a hit.
The potential for success does not end there. Many people have served in the armed forces at some point, so this provides yet more scope for a potential miracle. If all else fails, the psychic can say she is tuning in to the deceased's school days when they may have had to wear a uniform or youthful years when they may have been into sports, and wore "uniforms" or team colours. I have dwelt at length on the Fuzzy Fact because it is a very common element, with applications to many different kinds of cold reading.
It can be used to generate statements about relationships, family, career, names of people or places or events, sets of initials, numbers, trips, holidays and celebrations. It is the widespread use of the Fuzzy Fact which has probably given rise to the notion that cold reading consists of vague statements see 'Vagueness and generalisation'.
It bears repeating that it is not just vagueness that makes this element work - it is the high likelihood of being right in some way, and the scope it offers for refinement into something more precise. By its very nature, this element is mostly applicable to interactive readings. However, it can be used in printed or postal readings, in which case the client herself has to do all the work of finding a way to make the statement fit. Fortunately for the psychic The Good Chance Guess This element involves making a guess which stands a higher chance of being right than you might think.
It is distinct from the outright fluke, or Lucky Guess, which we will look at next. To take a very common example, the psychic might say something like: But the odds of the psychic being right are far higher than you might think.
What's more, the majority of clients lack either the mathematical sophistication, or inclination, to work out the correct odds.
Let us investigate this a little more closely. Imagine a street with houses, 50 on either side. How many houses have a 2 in their-number?
The answer is on the next page, but make a mental guess before you look. The correct answer is 19, very close to one fifth of all the houses in the street. So the psychic has almost a 1 in 5 chance of being right. The probability increases for streets with more than 19 houses but significantly fewer than , which in practice applies to a high proportion of streets.
Good though this is, there is plenty more honey in the pot. If the client rejects this initial offering, the psychic might try widening it just slightly, like this: Perhaps it's the house next door? The possibilities do not end there. If the "house next door" ploy has not worked, the psychic can always smoothly extrapolate like this: If it is still a miss, the psychic uses one of the escape routes we will see later in 'The Win-Win Game'.
The blue car Here is another very common instance of the Good Chance Guess: The chances of getting a hit are much higher than may initially appear. If the client owns or drives a blue car, it is a hit. If she has ever done so, then it is a hit about her past. With just a little refinement, the psychic can get a hit if any of the client's close friends or neighbours have a blue car.
Or, if the client has recently been visited by any trade or professional people in a blue car or van, that also counts as a hit. When you think about the possibilities, you can see the chances of a hit are quite high. The other crafty part of this guess is the choice of colour. Cars come in many colours and shades, but blue is probably the most common of all.
What is more, the term "blue" covers a greater possible range of shades and hues than any other possible choice - from the deep, dark shades of Royal Blue to light cyan and There are many other statements which work in the same way as these two examples. Technically, they are guesses which may be right or wrong, but in fact they stand a very good chance of being right.
It is also worth pointing out that in most contexts, the clients will have little or no time to analyse the subtlety involved. The psychic simply offers a name, set of initials, date or place and sees if the client accepts it.
If it is a hit, it seems miraculous and will be sure to impress the client. What is more, it can be used afterwards to give sceptics a thump, since it is apparently inexplicable. If it is not a hit, the psychic can easily move on to something else see 'The Win-Win Game'. Although there is nothing subtle about this element, it needs mentioning since it is so useful in cold reading terms. It is also worth emphasising that many clients apply great latitude when interpreting the psychic's offerings.
The same sort of ambiguity which helps Fuzzy Facts to become specific hits also helps Lucky Guesses. Take an example like this: I can see someone you have known quite a while, with blonde hair".
The psychic is simply guessing. However, she has not said anything specific about how the name relates to the client, so more or less any connection will do. She could be alive or dead, known well or only distantly, linked with the present or the past. There are endless possibilities for this guess to count as a hit.
If the client knows a Jean, Jenny, Janet, Joanne or someone whose name sounds close, she may well offer the mild correction and credit the psychic with a near-miss. This close-sounding name could be a first name, surname "Jones" or a nick name.
It could be male or female "Jan" is a common male name in some countries. Once you appreciate the interpretative latitude which psychics enjoy, it becomes clear that a Lucky Guess stands at least a fair chance of eventually being considered as a hit.
The three-part guess It is also worth pointing out that if a guess is composed of two or three parts, the client is likely to pay attention only to those parts which are correct.
In the example given above, the guess contains three parts: If the client has recently met a Jane with blonde hair, this will be considered a remarkable display of psychic divination. The inaccurate part about having known her a long time will be overlooked. Similarly, if the client has known someone with blonde hair for a long time, the psychic will be given some credit even if this person is not called Jane or anything like it.
The same applies to any guess consisting of multiple parts. Only the bits that fit get remembered. For this reason, many cold readers make sure their Lucky Guesses always consist of two or more parts. Here is another example of a three-part Lucky Guess: However, the guess affords plenty of scope for at least partial success. The date could be more or less anything from the 24th of August to the end of the month. It could refer to a birthday, an anniversary, a holiday, a social function or an important decision.
It could be significant every year, or just last year or just this year. It could be significant personally, socially or professionally. The man could be a husband, partner, brother, relative, friend, colleague or a professional contact such as the client's doctor or accountant or garage mechanic. He could be someone the client has known for years, or met once. Alive or dead, near or far, wellknown or a distant acquaintance. The more possibilities you become aware of, the more chances you see for the Lucky Guess to be sufficiently correct, in one way or another, to constitute a hit.
Of course, the more Lucky Guesses the psychic includes, the higher her chances of getting a hit somewhere along the line. Some psychics manage to mention dozens of different names, sets of initials, dates or places in a single reading. The misses get The hits are the ones that impress the client, and get talked about afterwards.
In my own readings, I have found it worthwhile to use the Lucky Guess element very sparingly, just in case the client gets suspicious of the technique. However, I generally include at least one, and usually two, in every reading. If it happens to be a hit, it is an inexplicable miracle and highly impressive. If not, it is soon forgotten. When they work, Lucky Guesses provide very useful reenforcement of belief both for the psychic who wishes to convey the impression that she is genuine and the client who does not wish to believe she has given her time, money and trust to a fake.
Habitual guessing I should just add that many cold readers get into the habit of using Lucky Guesses even when not giving readings. For example, when chatting to someone for the first time they may casually toss in a guess as to that person's star sign, or a relative's name, or a particular hobby.
It is no crime to be wrong, and after all the psychic can always say she spoke before she had developed a proper rapport. On the other hand, if the Lucky Guess happens to be right, then such casual displays of effortless accuracy are the stuff of legend. On one occasion I was talking to a TV researcher on the phone. I made some mild joke about her being "highly efficient, a typical Sagittarius".
As it happened, her star sign was Sagittarius and she was highly impressed. Throughout my involvement with this particular TV crew, the researcher never tired of recycling this anecdotal evidence of my astounding powers. I have shown salesmen how to use similar approaches to make friends with 'chilly' receptionists who may be unhelpfully good at blocking access to strong prospects.
The Lucky Guess cannot hurt, and may often help. For completeness, I ought to add that the magic fraternity has developed several ways to guess or appear to guess a stranger's star sign with perfect accuracy and without using the Lucky Guess. However, such techniques fall outside the realm of cold reading. The Stat Fact Stat Facts are statements based on statistics and demographic data. There is a wealth of such information available, from libraries, specialist publications, commercial databases and the internet.
Some of the more headline-friendly data even makes it to the national press and becomes popular knowledge or popular misconception. This kind of information can play its part in the cold reading process. For example, imagine that the psychic is giving readings in a region where, statistically, most of the women who have parttime jobs work either in the health services or the textile industry.
If the psychic has reason to think her client is in part-time work, then she knows which two areas are most likely to be worth exploring.
As with many aspects of cold reading, there are good and bad ways of using this information. Here is an example of the bad way: Or possibly textiles. In contrast, imagine the psychic is giving an astrological reading, and weaves her spell like this: In fact the conjunctions of your fifth house suggest you could be very successful if you were working with people who needed care or counselling, in one form or another.
The stars suggest that this could be right for you If not, the psychic changes tack: The relatively rare influence of Saturn at the moment, coupled with your Capricorn nature, suggests you may have found your energy channelled into working with your hands, maybe in a form of manufacturing although, if my interpretation is correct, yours is work which other people will transform. Does this make sense to you?
Obviously, the success of this element depends on how reliable the information is, and how intelligently it is applied. Experienced cold readers make it their business to gather information which is likely to prove useful.
Mediums and spiritualists, for example, have everything to gain from learning the statistically commonest causes of death, and to flavour their Stat Statements accordingly. There is certainly no shortage of demographic data available. There are tables and reports pertaining to educational attainment, careers, salary levels, marrying age, prevailing health problems and myriad other subjects.
To rely on very well-known statistics is to invite unimpressed and rather cynical responses. But less well-known statistics can be extremely useful, as can attention to fine distinctions. For example, what is the most popular sport or pastime in Britain? Most British people would say football, which is true in terms of the numbers who have an interest as spectators.
But in terms of those who actively take part, the top sport by a long margin is angling or fishing.