The Truth About Psychic Hotlines

Good Morning America busts some psychic pseudoscience with Mark Edward of SkepticBlog! Listen as a phone psychic warns the investigative journalist that someone might be trying to rip him off:

How about the lady at the end asking how you know which of these psychics is legit? You know, when there’s obviously no difference between the real ones and the fake ones? I DO NOT KNOW, LADY, HOW CAN WE EVER KNOW?

Also, how about Past Mark’s hair? Mullet power!

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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  1. I don’t think the “addict” has a problem with being addicted to psychics, but rather has an addiction to handing off responsibility.

    To think I hear “What’s wrong with letting them believe” near every time I scoff at psychic hot-lines.

  2. Mark is a great resourse….seriously, nice guy, and more than willing to share his knowledge and expertise. Plus, he’s pretty funny and laid back enough that that the woos don’t get him all spazzz…..

  3. Someone I know once referred to psychics as a poor man’s psychologist. I really believe that’s accurate- they build people up and give them the opportunity to be introspective and think about their problems. Even talking through problems that have never been voiced can be helpful. The only problem with the analogy is that it doesn’t really seem like psychics are that affordable.

  4. @Displaced Northerner: Interesting analogy, but i think that the “poor” (i.e., ignorant) man/woman sees both the psychic and psychologist as having “secret” knowledge, but the psychologist is seen as evil cause they mess with your brain and all that sciency stuff, which is real hard to understand. Whereas, the psychic has a more “salt-of-the-earth”, down home quality that reminds them of religion.

    Plus, they probably have at least one person in their family who claims psychic powers.

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