The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine

Cold Reading (issue #33)

Junior Skeptic cover
This Junior Skeptic can be purchased as a downloadable PDF for $1.99.


Skeptic Vol 14n04 cover
Junior Skeptic can also be found within this issue of Skeptic magazine.

in this issue

Cold Reading
  • Introducing Ian Rowland
  • What is a Psychic Reading?
  • Common Misconceptions about How Cold Reading Works
  • How Cold Reading Really Works: The Set Up
  • The Classic Themes: Love, Money, Health, and Career
  • Classic Tricks of Cold Reading
  • Five Golden Rules to Block a Cold Reading

written by Pat Linse
after Ian Rowland’s book
“The Full Facts of Cold Reading”
illustrations by Pat Linse
and Daniel Loxton;
cover by Daniel Loxton

from the Introduction


I’m Daniel, the Editor of Junior Skeptic. I’d like to welcome you to this special issue written by Pat Linse, the creator of Junior Skeptic.

In this issue, you’ll discover the work of Ian Rowland, an expert on “cold reading” — sneaky techniques for convincing complete strangers that you know all about them.

As a performer on stage, Ian Rowland creates the illusion that he has psychic powers like “telepathy.” In this issue, he will show us how someone who is not psychic can pretend to be so using a set of psychological strategies.

Rowland always admits that he uses trickery on stage. Unfortunately, some people use cold reading techniques to take advantage of others. How do they do it — and how can we keep from being fooled?

Let’s find out!

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