Psychic Mediumship

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  • Created by: Ross Hill
  • Created on: 19-02-15 11:40

Psychic Mediumship

The Barnum Effect;

  • Cold reader starts with some general statements that could apply e.g. I see a recent loss of life
  • Elict responses from the sitter
  • Responses can then be used later in the conversation listeners of psychic abilities
  • Willingness to elaborate on limited information --> appear to have special powers

Willingness to be Deceived;

  • many sitters are aware that mediums are using general statements but remained convinced even though know its fake they are still taken in by it

Sensitivity to cues --> sitters tone of voice and replies give away information

Fraud --> big business so strategies are fake

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Research Support

Schwartz et al (2001):

  • 5 mediums tested 2 sitters who had experienced significant bereavement
  • Sitters answered yes and no and were unseen by mediums
  • Accuracy of reader was mesaured at 83% and 77% for each sitter
  • However, same statements were given to a group of undergraduates and only found to be 36% effective

Criticsed for using students as a baseline for same comments as student woud be too young for many of these events to have occured. Statements were written to aplly to older people and not younger

Scole Report- Keen et al 1999

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Research Criticism

Wiseman (2003) --> most researchers suggest that believers are more likely to be taken in by events

O'keefe and Wiseman (2005);

  • 5 mediums to read 5 sitters and develop individual statements
  • The sitter rated the statements on personal relevance
  • Those written specially for them were rated the least relevant providing doubt on the ability of mediums

Spiritualism is big business and mediums want to captalise on this so must appear geniune

Hines (2003);

  • elaborate schemes are carried out inlcuding stealing possesions of audience members and then telling them where they can find items
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Sheep-Goat Effect;

  • quality of research conducted on mediumship is poor.
  • Most people are content to believe in it without scientific proof so there's less motivation to conduct well controlled reasearch what research is conducted tends to show usual pattern of positive findings from belivers e.g. Rock and Belsel
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