Announcements • If you’re one of the students working on the weather project, please see the updates section of web page. • If you have a final exam conflict with this course, please see the updates section of the class web page. You’ll need to e-mail me to reschedule the exam. • War papers will be returned in sections next week. • Homework assignment due on Monday – I’ll post the details later this afternoon.
What’s the point? • There are a number of industries that profit by tricking people • subliminal tapes • memory enhancing drugs • psychics • tarot card readings • media psychologists
What’s the point? • Why should psychologists care? • Many of the tricks that are used are designed to exploit people’s need to be understood, loved, and valued. • example: paying psychics to communicate with deceased loved ones • To the extent that people turn to these industries in order to meet their needs, they miss the opportunity to be helped by professionals who use scientifically validated techniques.
Today we’ll focus on two such industries, one rooted in the paranormal and the other astrology • Thousands of Americans turn to psychics and astrologers for advice on love, relationships, work, and parenting. • What methods do these individuals use to understand the world? Are these methods similar to the ones we’ve discussed in this class? And, if not, how could the methods we’ve discussed in this class be applied?
Psychic Powers • Miss Cleo • late-night television psychic • (read the story on http://www.courttv.com/news/feature/cleo/misscleo_ctv.html ) • Audio example: http://www.courttv.com/news/feature/cleo/script1.html
How does it work? • Subcontractors, referred to as “bookstores,” recruit and train thousands of psychics • When the hotline is called, the call gets routed to the subcontractors, such as Nevada-based Buckwood Communications, who manage the psychics
Psychics are paid 14 to 24 cents per minute; 25 cents for obtaining an address and 10 cents for obtaining an e-mail address. • Not much money, but whether the subcontractors route the calls to a particular psychic depends upon the psychic’s record for keeping people on-line “We’re obliged to keep people on the line. We have to make things up, because we need the priority rating or we won’t get calls. It’s impossible. Last week, even though I had a 61-minute call, I didn’t get anything for six days” • South Florida psychic reader who worked for the agency that promotes Miss Cleo
How do these methods fare? • How do these methods compare with those discussed in this course? • What would it take to establish the validity of a psychic’s ability? • Are these methods (or the evidence derived from them) part of what is advertised?
Astrology and Horoscopes • Astrology is the study of how the planets and stars affect human affairs. • A horoscope consists of a geocentric map of the solar system at a given moment in time based on a person’s date, time, and place of birth.
Astrology and Horoscopes • The calculations involved in constructing a horoscope are based on geocentric models of the solar system (i.e., earth is at the center). • The interpretation of horoscopes is based on manuscripts and texts passed down across generations. Many of these are authored by respected astrologers. • Many of the modern horoscopes that we are familiar with are highly simplified versions based on a person’s zodiac sign (e.g., Aquarius, Leo, Capricorn).
How do these methods fare? • How do astrological methods compare with those discussed in this course? • What would it take to establish the validity of an astrological theory? • Are these methods (or the evidence derived from them) part of what is advertised?
Testing Astrology • What would it take to test astrological principles? • different astrologers should make similar predictions • the person types based on the Zodiac should be accurate • horoscope should be correct
How accurate are horoscopes? • Horoscope class exercise
False AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): There are two ways to get energy moving forward in your career now. No. 1: Forget about who did what to whom, and start new. No. 2: Call around before you make any costly decisions. You make allies by asking for help. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Tension creeps into the workday, but you can turn it around by spending quality time in the open air (which brings fresh ideas your way that will make money later in the year). Tonight, tell a loved one what he or she wants to hear. True AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Tension creeps into the workday, but you can turn it around by spending quality time in the open air (which brings fresh ideas your way that will make money later in the year). Tonight, tell a loved one what he or she wants to hear. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): There are two ways to get energy moving forward in your career now. No. 1: Forget about who did what to whom, and start new. No. 2: Call around before you make any costly decisions. You make allies by asking for help.