Author Topic: SGU 5x5 #36  (Read 1651 times)

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Offline Steven Novella

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SGU 5x5 #36
« on: September 11, 2008, 09:38:38 pm »
Podcast #36    Skepticism 101 - Cold Reading
Steven Novella
Host, The Skeptics Guide

Offline Anders

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Re: SGU 5x5 #36
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2008, 01:17:02 am »
From GURPS Basic Set:

  This is the art of interviewing someone in order to learn more about his lifestyle and personality in order to learn more about his lifestyle and personality, and then using this information to make an "educated guess" about his future that you can pass off as supernatural divination. Suitable props - star charts, tea leaves, etc. - can enhance that illusion. Knowledge of traditional occult or religious beliefs (especially those of your subject) can also lend an air of legitimacy.
  With the GMs permission, you can sometimes use Fortune-Telling in place of Fast-Talk (by making predictions that guide the subject toward a particular course of action), ot Interrogation or Psychology (by asking the subject leading questions under the pretense of telling his fortune). This is only possible if the subject believes you are a genuine fortune-teller and you take the time to do a full "reading" for him.
  You must specialize in a particular mantic art. Available specializations include Astrology, Augury (interpretation of natural omens, such as flocks of birds), Crystal Gazing, Dream Interpretation, Feng Shui, Palmistry, and Tarot.
  This skill is not a paranormal talent and the GM is under no obligation to supply you with hints of future events.
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Offline maydont

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Re: SGU 5x5 #36
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2008, 07:13:03 pm »
Good news that that guy was able to bring his Mom over to the skeptic side regarding cold reading...although I this sort of win is noticeably rare.  I think the human race tends to choose their beliefs and then stand by them no matter what is thrown at them.  Still a great story though that can give us all strength at spreading the voice of reason.

Offline pandamonium

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Re: SGU 5x5 #36
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2008, 07:20:53 pm »
just listened: i'm very heartened to hear about the recent "convert" and new listener.  i actually raised a fist of victory while riding my bike (even though i didn't do anything to feel victorious about).  fortunately, no one was around to see me be crazy and i didn't crash into the creek i was riding by.  i think the way that the psychic reading was broken down for the listener's mom (i forgot his name :P) was genius.  congrats on saving your mom from jerks, if you can hear me. :D
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Offline canskepihaz

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Re: SGU 5x5 #36
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2008, 12:47:46 pm »
Go easy on me,

SO I have been trolling a bit and listening to allot of these 5x5's and a few of the longer ones.  Really interesting topics.

With regards to this topic, is there any correlation between cold reading and "criminal profiling". I have heard it refered to as the PT Barnum effect.

A prof I had in a forensic psych class, was big on criminal profilling, police interview techniques, and profiling of people who may or may not be criminals (like border security and customs officials.) Anyways this prof said that they cannot get any profillers of note from the FBI, CIA, RCMP, CSIS etc... to participate in study's to determine the validity of what they are doing.

There have been study's done on police officers, trying to determine if someone is being evasive about a subject or not. (study's after they have been trained) And they usually come up 50/50 like the average joe's in the study.

Any thoughts?