Psychic cold reading is a way used by different people from mediums to showmen to gather information and details about their client or audience. They make people believe that they have the gift of foretelling and foreseeing due to these details.
In reality, psychic cold reading is where the audience is persuaded to tell details about themselves without them realizing they are divulging it on their own. A medium can do a psychic cold reading by observing his or her audience and their body language, reactions, and mannerisms.
They would employ high probability guesses about the subject and they would try to pick up on the subject’s reactions to determine if their guess hits a spot or they are grappling at straws.
Different types of techniques are employed when it comes to psychic cold reading. The first type involves delivery of a prepared spiel. The latest surveys and polls would help distinguish the stereotypes in the audience and thus they are the segmented market of the spiel. They would pretend that they get these information by psychic means, but in reality they got it from surveys and polls.
Another technique is the shotgun approach where questions are asked rapidly and hopefully one of the projectiles would illicit a reaction from the audience. The medium would just keenly observed the reactions from the audience and he can pinpoint who is mostly affected by his questions.
He would then modify his questions to fit the target client. The use of vagueness and ambiguity or making the audience fill in the details and connecting them with their own lives is called the Forer effect. This technique uses Barnum statements, where statements seem to be directed at one person but in truth it applies to everyone.
Psychic cold reading is just like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s character Sherlock Holmes version of deductive reasoning. It may sound like a lot of mumbo jumbo or hocus pocus but it reality it’s all in the eye.