Warm reading

Warm reading

Warm reading is a performance tool used by professional mentalism and psychic scam artists. While hot reading is the use of foreknowledge when giving a psychic reading and cold reading is general presumptions common to human experience especially in regards to age and gender, warm reading refers to the judicious use of Barnum (also known as Forer effect) statements.

Peter Huston originated this phrase in his book "More Scams from the Great Beyond!: How to Make Even More Money Off of Creationism, Evolution, Environmentalism, Fringe Politics, Weird Science, the Occult, and Other Strange Beliefs". [Huston, Peter. More Scams from the Great Beyond!: How to Make Even More Money Off the Creationism, Evolution, Environmentalism, Fringe Politics, Weird Science, the Occult, and Other Strange Beliefs. Paladin Press. 2002. ISBN: 1581603541]

When these psychological tricks used properly, these statements give the impression that the mentalist, or psychic scam artist, is intuitively perceptive and psychically-gifted. In reality, the statements fit nearly 99% of humanity, regardless of gender, personal opinions, age, epoch, culture or nationality.

The following passage on warm reading comes from Robert T. Carroll's "Skeptic Dictionary":

Warm reading is sometimes used to refer to "utilizing known principles of psychology that apply to nearly everyone" while doing a psychic reading. Michael Shermer uses the expression this way. What Shermer gives as an example of warm reading, Ray Hyman and Ian Rowland would give as an example of cold reading. Shermer notes that many grieving people will wear a piece of jewelry that has a connection to their deceased loved one. To claim to get some sort of message about a piece of jewelry belonging to the deceased while doing a reading will often shock a client, who will make the connection and take your message as a sign you have made contact with the other side. [ [http://skepdic.com/warmreading.html warm reading ] ]

Bibliography

# Austin Cline What is Cold Reading? Skeptical Perspectives
# Hyman, Ray. Guide to Cold Reading
# Colin Hunter. Cold Reading: Confessions of a "Psychic"
# Denis Dutton The Cold Reading Technique
# Dickson, D.H., & Kelly, I.W. "The 'Barnum effect' in personality assessment: A review of the literature," Psychological Reports, 57, 367-382, (1985).
# Stagnaro, Angelo. Something from Nothing. Manipulix Books. 2002.
# Stagnaro, Angelo. The Other Side. Manipulix Books. 2005.
# Shermer, Michael. (2001). "Deconstructing The Dead: Cross Over One Last Time To Expose Medium John Edward," Scientific American, Aug. 1.
# Hyman, Ray. "'Cold Reading': How to Convince Strangers That You Know All About Them," The Skeptical Inquirer Spring/Summer 1977.
# Hyman, Ray. The Elusive Quarry : A Scientific Appraisal of Psychical Research (Prometheus Books, 1989).
# Keene, M. Lamar. The Psychic Mafia (Prometheus, 1997).
# Randi, James. Flim-Flam! (Buffalo, New York: Prometheus Books,1982).

References


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