Shopping Cart -

Your cart is currently empty.
Continue Shopping
This website use cookies and similar technologies to improve the site and to provide customised content and advertising. By using this site, you agree to this use. To learn more, including how to change your cookie settings, please view our Cookie Policy
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
US
Pocketmags Digital Magazines

Teaching College Students Critical Thinking Skills by Posing as a ‘Registered Psychic’

When college students who signed up for a class called Critical Thinking about the Paranormal were introduced to a guest speaker who claimed “psychic ability, they were taken in by his cold reading abilities.

Twenty-five years ago, I met Philip Haldeman, cochair of Seattle’s Northwest Skeptics, and we formed a friendship. One of the many topics of interest we shared was cold reading. As a result, over the years I have invited Haldeman to my general psychology classes to pose as a psychic and see how my students would react. At first, Haldeman doubted that even a studious application of cold reading techniques could fool college psychology students. But time and time again he was successful, convincing my students of his amazing “psychic” abilities. After his “readings” of the students’ lives for much of the class time, I would shatter the reality of what Haldeman was doing by announcing that he was in fact a fraud.

Since 2003, I have been teaching a two-credit class once a year at Highline College in Des Moines, Washington, titled Critical Thinking about the Paranormal. Despite the first two words of the title, I’ve found that students are attracted to the class because of the last word in the title. Like most people, my students are fascinated with claims of the paranormal but haven’t developed critical thinking skills to evaluate the claims.

I have been teaching a class titled Critical Thinking about the Paranormal. Despite the first two words of the title, I’ve found that students are attracted to the class because of the last word in the title.

READ MORE
Purchase options below
Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Skeptical Inquirer - July August 2019
If you own the issue, Login to read the full article now.
Single Issue - July August 2019
$2.99
Or 299 points
Annual Digital Subscription
Only $ 2.83 per issue
SAVE
5%
$16.99
Or 1699 points

View Issues

About Skeptical Inquirer

TEAM SCIENCE: Building Better Science Activists with Insights from Disney, Marketing Conspiring for the Common Good A Stegosaur Carving on the Ruins of Ta Prohm? Think Again