College Writing 112.005
Psychics reading the gullible
The world today is filled with psychics claiming they can perform tasks involving extrasensory projections. There are people who say they can speak with the dead, read minds, feel energies, and see into the future. It is very easy, when vulnerable and gullible enough, to fall into what these psychics are saying. Most will say what you want to hear in order to gain credibility for themselves, or even to just earn a living. It is a complicated thing to argue, however, because this science cannot be proven true. It has undoubtedly been proven a hoax time and time again, but there are two sides to every story. Those who believe and buy into what these psychics are saying are the ones who keep this business alive. I think that people will believe what they want to believe, which is why psychics can continue putting on a show to make believers out of the gullible.
There is a term used in Psychology to represent when it is actually the subjects who make a reading succeed. It is called the “fallacy of personal validation.” This means that when someone is being read by a psychic, the way they interpret the reading to match their own character is what makes them believe in what the psychic is saying (Gordon 48). This is most often true with horoscopes. We usually only read the horoscope that matches up with our own birthday, but when reading ones that are for other months, they can be matched up to anyone. Horoscopes can be very general, such as, “Good things are coming your way”, or “You will meet someone with potential for a relationship next month”. These things could be interpreted in a different way for every person who reads them. Almost anyone could find a way to fit the readings into their own lives. Most of the time the horoscope “predicts” things that would have happened to a person anyways. Chances are whoever reads it will have something good happen to them or meet someone new any period of time after they have read it. It is the fallacy of personal validation that makes astronomical readings seem so accurate for each individual.
Psychics themselves have a lot of confidence in what they do. Though there are some who know they are putting on an act, there are others who truly believe they have a gift. One psychic who Gordon 3
makes a living off of being a reader, DeAna, lives in the United Kingdom. She explains in an interview that ever since she was a young girl, her family and friends were baffled when DeAna knew information that she was never directly told. She constantly knew information that she not only should not, but could not have possibly known. Using her skill as a career measure did not come until much later in life. When asked “How have you become a psychic reader?” DeAna replies, “A lady I worked with was dreadfully distraught about a relative who had gone AWOL. One day she handed me a coffee and I found information about the person flooding in – as she touched me. I gave her the info and the person was located. She was shocked at first and then thrilled and told an awful lot of people! Before I knew it, after a 12 hour shift – 6 days a week, I would arrive home to find people waiting on my doorstep needing a reading.” (DeAna) She continues to explain how she helped people before and after her shift at her regular job, for no pay. One day a woman came along who was offended when DeAna would not accept payment. She scolded the psychic and said that she was offering a service and should expect payment for her skills. DeAna decided to make her readings a full time job, after the woman put things into perspective for her. She thought she should use her gift to help whenever she could, whenever she could. DeAna soon realized this was her calling, and chose to start charging all of her clients and turn her talent into a career. DeAna helps people who are looking for answers. Her clients who...