Involving people, who have psychic abilities, to finding hidden objects and even people is not a very common practice. However, sometimes these people are employed for consulting police in criminal investigations and solving personal matters. It was portrayed in one of the TV series, The Mentalist, and lots of TV shows promoting the belief in extrasensory perception and spiritual practices. However, as shown in Mentalist mentioned above, there can be people, who claim that they possess psychic abilities, but, in fact, have none (Bentley, 2008). That is why when choosing to fall upon the services of psychics it is vital to detect whether they have any paranormal abilities or are keen manipulators and skillful psychologists.
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First, it is vital to draw the line between psychic and non-psychic abilities. People with psychic abilities claim that they have supernatural powers and can transcend reality by using them (Shaffer, 2010). These powers can include predicting future, feeling the events that occur thousands of miles away and energies, seeing people’s auras, and other paranormal experiences that are characterized by non-local connection (Targ & Katra, 2001). However, in fact, there is a delicate balance between talent and fraud. In most cases, people, who assure that they have supernatural abilities, are keen mentalists finding answers to the question though concise attention to detail and specificities of behavior. Everything that has to do with analyzing behavior and psychology, i.e. finding answers using logic, and attributing one’s feelings to those of others is known as non-psychic ability (Martín, Manzanares & Sánchez, 2013).
There are some experiments that can be used to determine whether a person possesses psychic abilities that can later be used to find hidden people. For example, the simplest one is a test with a deck of regular playing cards. The idea is to choose one card and let the person guess it. To exclude the possibility of a blind guess, the test can be conducted for five to ten times (Grimsby Telegraph 25 July 2007, p. 5).
It is the basic test that can have other substitutes. For example, in the case of hidden people, the organizers of the experiment can hide a person in a luggage boot of a car or a room of a house. The primary idea is that there should be numerous options of an answer and numerous repeats to make sure that a person in not lying. The next idea is to take five to ten boxes, put a living creature in one of them, and conduct an experiment for finding the one with an animal. The limitation of this experiment as well as the first one with people is that a person can possess exceptionally keen hearing and guess the box hearing the sound of motion in a box.
Another option for testing a person, who claims to possess paranormal abilities, is to ask him or her to find a hidden person providing a map and a hidden person’s photo. The idea here is to know the location of a hidden person and check whether it can be named without additional prompts. It is more effective if compared to the first test because the possibility of guessing the correct location is minimum. The only limitation in this case is defining the scope of the search because it can be either one city or a district.
What should be said in a conclusion is that except for conducting the experiments mentioned above it is vital to pay attention to the model of communication. It is recommended to define whether a person is skillful in communication and finding out answers from an experimenter using intricate communication models both linguistic and extralinguistic (Bara & Tirassa, 2010).
Bara, B. G., & Tirassa, M. (2010). A mentalist framework for linguistic and extralinguistic communication. Linguistic and Philosophical investigation, 9(1), 182-193.
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Bentley, R. (2008). Mentalist? It’s all just an act: Non-psychic sleuth puts faith in observation. Pop Matters.
Martín, M. A. C., Manzanares, M. S. S. & Sánchez, J. M. R. (2013). Effect of metacognitive training programs on mentalist skills. Psicothema, 25(1), 31-37.
Shaffer, R. L. A. (2010). The Psychic Industry, 15(3), 56-57.
Targ, R., & Katra, J. (2001). The scientific and spiritual implications of psychic abilities. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 7(3), 143-149.