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Saturday, January 9, 2021

The Psychic Detective

     When trying to image what fraud looks like, envision a bus full of psychic detectives en route to a charlatan convention in Las Vegas. Real detectives who give these frauds credibility by consulting with them should be busted back to the street for magical thinking, wasting time, and squandering taxpayer money.

     A study in England published in 1996 pitted people who claimed to be psychic detectives against undergraduate psychology students. Each participant in the experiment was handed an item from a real crime scene and asked to utter whatever popped into their minds regarding the offense. The results of this study showed that the only difference between a psychic detective and an ordinary person was the ability to act and to lie with a straight face. Over the years, similar findings that discredit psychics have been replicated numerous times by other researchers.

     Conducting a serious study to determine if psychics are bogus is like conducting a study to confirm that the earth is round.

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