Psychics Fail 'Halloween Test' At Goldsmiths


It may or may not come as a surprise to you depending on your gullibility for such phenomena, but in a scientific test designed and conducted at Goldsmiths, University of London, two mediums have failed to prove the existence of psychic abilities.

The test, organised by the Merseyside Skeptics Society, was designed by Professor Chris French, Head of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit at Goldsmiths, and formed a part of an annual 'investigation' into the psychic industry. Both mediums agreed prior to the test taking place that the experiment was fair and unbiased. All they had to do was sit behind an opaque screen and take down notes relating to a string of five participant 'sitters' taking turns to sit opposite them, obscured from view. Each participant was then given the chance to pick out the 'reading' from the five provided by the psychic that they felt bore the biggest resemblance to themselves.

To gauge the measure of success or failure of their respective psychic abilities, it was decided a 'pass' would only be given if every single participant were able to pick out the reading associated with them. A score of 4 would raise 'genuine scientific interest', while anything less than a 3 would be considered a failure. As you might have guessed, the results were less than convincing for the psychics behind the glass, with both only managing scoring one 'hit' from the five readings, the kind of result consistent with putting decision down to chance alone.

While both claim the test doesn’t disprove their own abilities, it does raise a suspicious light on the industry as a whole. As Vice President of the Merseyside Skeptics Society and co-organiser of the test, Michael Marshall, says; “While the result of our experiment doesn't disprove psychic ability, the fact that our mediums couldn't pass what they felt was a very fair and simple test does seem to suggest claims that these abilities exist aren't based in reality.”

While this study doesn’t outright debunk psychics, it does form the latest link in a long chain of psychics and mediums being unable to divvy up the goods when it comes down to it, and in this case no such supernatural gifts were present.

Harvey McDaniel

Source: Goldsmiths, University of London