Why do so many people believe in psychic abilities?


Mind reading and the ability to see the future is the skills that people usually are not born. However, studies show that many people sincerely believe in the existence of psychic powers. And despite the fact that numerous cases of proven fraud on the part of people claiming its paranormal capabilities, was to weaken the belief in psychic powers, it is not. There were cases when the Lajos PAP, a Hungarian spiritualist and medium, forged the appearance of the animals during the sessions.

And most recently, a self-proclaimed psychic James Hedrick was caught cheating: he admitted that his paranormal demonstrations were tricks learned in prison. Ads that someone removes the damage and makes the spell, you can find probably in every street in Russia.

Paranormal abilities: myth or truth?

Another notable example is the televangelist Peter Popoff. His wife used a wireless transmitter for transmitting information about visitors of the sermon, Popoff via an earpiece. He claimed that he had received this information and the paranormal way became famous, once on national television, during which he did wonders for the enthusiastic audience. In parallel with this, in Russia “covered” the sect “God Kuzi”, who masqueraded as “God in the flesh” and collected tribute from the gullible “subjects”.

You think, after that people ceased to believe in the power of psychic abilities? As it is not so. According to studies, more than a quarter of people believe that people can possess psychic abilities such as telepathy and clairvoyance.


Recently published work may help to shed some light on why people continue to believe in psychic abilities. In the study, were interviewed believers and skeptics with the same level of education and academic experience, and found that people who believe in psychic abilities, are less likely to think analytically. That is, they tend to interpret the world from a subjective point of view and do not perceive the information critically.

Believers in the paranormal often view statements about mental abilities as supporting evidence — regardless of their evidence base. The case of Chris Robinson, who calls himself a “detective of dreams”, demonstrates this.

Robinson argues that foresaw the terrorist attacks, disasters and celebrity deaths. Approval is based on limited and dubious evidence. Tests conducted by Gary Schwartz at the University of Arizona, confirmed the ability of Robinson, however, other researchers using similar methods, could not confirm the conclusion of Schwartz.

Vague and General

Mental statements are often General and vague, such as the prediction of the crash or the death of celebrities and this is partly why many people believe in the possibility of psychic abilities.

This phenomenon is known as the Barnum effect — a common psychological phenomenon when people tend to take vague, General characteristics of the individual as uniquely applicable to themselves. Recall, for example, horoscopes.

Research, for example, showed that individuals give a high rating of accuracy to descriptions of their personality that supposedly are made specifically for them, whereas in fact they are quite vague and General to treat a wide range of people. The phenomenon is named in honor of Phineas Taylor Barnum, who had a reputation as a brilliant psychological manipulator.

It is impossible to check

Many claims about the presence of supernatural powers also proved impossible to confirm or verify. A classic illustration is the adoption of URI Geller that he “wished” that the soccer ball moved during a penalty to “Euro 96”. The movement of the ball occurred spontaneously in uncontrolled environments and Geller made his statement retrospectively.

When practised abilities are subject to scientific investigation, researchers typically discrediting them. This was true in the case of Derek Ogilvie — the study showed that he genuinely believed in their abilities, but really could not read the minds of babies.

And when scientists supported statements about the mental manifestations are usually followed by criticism. It happened in the 1970-ies, when physicists Russell Targ and Harold Puthoff published an article in the prestigious journal Nature, which supported the view that URI Geller had genuine psychic abilities. Psychologists like ray Hyman have denied this, stressing the basic methodological shortcomings.

Mixed evidence

Another contributing factor to belief in psychic abilities is research that gives positive results. This reinforces the opinion of believers that claims are genuine and real phenomenon, this ignores the fact that published studies are often criticized, and for General adoption it is necessary to repeat the results.

One of the clearest examples of this is the article prepared by the social psychologist Daryl Böhm in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. It was said that this study supported the existence of foresight (conscious cognitive awareness) and foresight (affective perception) of a future event. However, other scientists were unable to replicate these results.

Way of thinking

It seems that, despite the cases of fakes, frauds and scams, people will still continue to believe in psychic phenomena. Every third man argues that faced with psychic manifestations, almost every second woman claims to be about the same.

URI Geller

What do the experts say?

Victoria Sandaluk, CEO Topmedklinik, argues that many people believe in the supernatural because I just want to believe in a miracle. And this leads to not very good consequences:

“To believe in miracles want and adults and children.

It’s easier and more convenient to do nothing, man “rolls his arms” and there will be magic.

We face many real-life stories, coupled with the fact that people are treated psychics. Unfortunately, judging from practice, a doctor’s help is inevitable. Often to the doctor only as a critical condition after time lost to psychics. Serious illness is still treated by doctors and modern science, but naive people are many, they are always there. While there is demand, there will be psychics”.

Char Alexander, President of the Russian magical brotherhood (now the Center for cognitive magic DIAMOND), candidate of technical Sciences, leading the first Russian TV show about psychics, “Eldorado”, “Your opportunities, man,” talked about what are the weaknesses of people use the “having psychic abilities”:

“Belief in the paranormal is based on the basic psychological properties of the person:

Magimania, faith in supernatural forces.

The illusionism of personality — a natural human quality to embellish reality.

Based on these points, the TV and film industry is exploiting this topic, having commercial interest. The battle of psychics and other TV shows on this subject lifted significantly, with the involvement of non-professional actors, which increases the reliability of the footage. Thus, the impact is amplified. To the above is added and the next.

Personal experiencewhen, over the life of a person accumulates a large number of inexplicable from the scientific point of view, events. They are all individual and unique as life itself. From the point of view of mathematics, it is called ergodic non-stationary random process. Therefore the scientific confirmation of such isolated cases cannot be considered (they are unique). But there are, perhaps accidentally. The chain of accidents to human life is presented as a mystery patterns”.

Mikhail Vladimirsky, a clinical psychologist, child psychologist (the psychologist.RF), presented his insightful opinion on the matter:

“First, about paranormal phenomena, that is, miracles. Indeed, belief in miracles, magical thinking inherent in his contemporaries a little less than our enlightened ancestors. The belief in a miraculous world, in the possibility of a miracle is massive. Thousands of the faithful lining up in queue for hours in line to touch the relics, with the hope any particular miracle, or just in case.

But take people are not religious, and even adhere to the scientific picture of the world. A great many will accompany prelaunch training of astronauts, and strictly observed by foreign participants flying. So, the bus carrying the astronauts to launch pad ritual stops at the place where it stopped when Yuri Gagarin and members of the flight, be sure to first stepping with your left foot on the ground, is celebrated in this place small need.

So, the world largely remains our magic, and our magical thinking. It makes you remember the system of thinking of the traditional society, where every corner, the structural elements of the house, the furnace had a ritual significance, sowing and harvest were perceived as acts of natural magic, the threshold and the mirror — Windows to another world.

New time, the era of industrial production (modern) believed to have the world spell, but the magical thinking continues to reproduce itself in the human psyche. With the elimination of Christian rites, in Soviet society there was a new, and still live, getting on well with the restored Christian.

Here’s a family of engineers (educators, or scientists) closes the mirror in the presence of the deceased, and then leaves a glass of vodka in front of his photograph, and started the bottle on his grave, presumably as a sacrifice to the spirit of the deceased. Traditional, archaic man is alive in us. We use often counterintuitive scientific picture of the world, and live while in the archaic psychic reality.

Cases are known, when the twin or the mother of the person “hears” or perceives thousands of miles away feelings in the moment of mortal danger. Ordinary cases of mind reading, perception of mental images of another person. All these cases have one thing in common. They’re unpredictable, but because science does not exist. This is what in science is called anecdotal (one-time) confirmation and any science not recognized. The famous physicist Roger Penrose (from a difficult family, among his relatives 3 Nobel prize winner) says that the amazing quality of the human psyche cannot be explained otherwise than its quantum nature.

English biologist Rupert Sheldrake conducted a public mass experiment, where he studied psychic abilities of dogs and cats. Webcam recorded, predshestvuet whether pet owners coming home, going to the door. The results seem to have been received positive. Further, the author conducted a seemingly successful experiments on the human ability of telepathy (43% of positive results in the expectation of 25 %) . In another experiment 2015 the author received 55% positive results in the expectation of 50% with a large sample (p=2018) was statistically significant. On the other hand, we have plenty of studies with a negative result.

So, from all types of psychic abilities the existence of telepathy has some scientific evidence. In favor of telepathy there are also numerous anecdotal evidence (anecdotal evidence). Telepathy is consistent with quantum hypothesis Roger Penrose, the mechanism may be the effect of quantum entanglement. As for telekinesis, and teleportation telesintez, have attributed this to the tricks created by the shamans and their colleagues aimed to impress, to create a HYIP and earn money. Many people believe them. No wonder, professional sorcerers of the master to cause the illusion and inspire faith, but people tend to want miracle.”

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