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PBS Nova Secrets of the Psychic

1. What three things did psychic Uri Geller claim to be able to do?
a. He claimed that he had the ability to read minds (by knowing what a volunteer
has drawn on a piece of paper).
b. He claimed to bend keys with his mind.
c. He claimed that he could melt a metal spoon using only his hands.
2. How was Uri able to perform these feats?
a. While facing the opposite direction and covering his eyes Geller would hide a
mirror in his hands. This let him to see what the person was drawing behind him.
b. By pre bending the keys and hiding them to fool the audience.
c. By preparing a spoon (weakening the point where the handle meets the spoon).
3. What did the Tonight Show do to expose Geller?
The Tonight Show provided Geller with their own props for him to use. This didnt
give him a chance to tamper with anything.
Peter Popov - Faith Healing
4. The faith healer knew the names and afflictions of people in his audience. How?
The faith healers wife was sending him radio messages through a wireless ear
piece. She got her information from prayer cards that the audience members had
filled out before the show.
Psychic Surgeons Operations without knives
5. How does this work?
It is all an illusion. With a little bit of fake blood and chicken organs the work of a
Psychic surgeon can easily be recreated.
Astrology
6. Why do many people believe in astrology?
People believe in astrology because people want control in their lives. Horoscopes
offer control because they give on an insight to the future. The only problem is that
they are compete fiction. Horoscopes are written in such a way that everyone can
relate to them.

Palm Reading
7. What experiment did the palm reader try that convinced him that palm reading
might not be real?
One of the palm readers friends bet him that he would be just as successful if he
told his clients the exact opposite of what he read on their palms. His first client was
stunned how accurate he was. Later he realized that it didnt matter how accurate
his readings were, he just needed to convince his clients of his professionalism and
they would bend his predictions to fit their lives.
Moscow Institute of the Brain
8. What was the question being addressed by the experiment?
Can a psychic change the brain waves and/or blood pressure of his subject using
psychic powers?
9. What was the hypothesis?
If a psychic can influence a test subject with his supernatural powers, then there will
be an observable change in his or her brain waves and/or blood pressure.
10. Describe the setup experiment conducted to see if the psychic could control a
subject.
The experiment was conducted over a one hour period, divided up into four 15minute sections. The psychic would randomly select what he would do to the test
subject.
a. How was the first 15-minute segment like a control?
The first 15-minute segment was like a control because they psychic did not
attempt to do anything to the test subject.
b. What variable was introduced in the second 15-minute segment?
In the second segment, the psychic randomly selected to attempt to change the
test subjects blood pressure.
c. What variable was introduced in the third 15-minute segment?
In the third segment, the psychic randomly selected to attempt to change the test
subjects brain waves.
d. What variable was introduced in the fourth 15-minute segment?
The final segment also focused on changing the subjects brain waves by
stimulating both the left and the right brain.

e. What data was collected in this experiment?


i. Test 1: The scientist detected a change in the subjects blood pressure.
ii. Test 2: The scientists detected a change in the test subjects brain waves.
iii. Test 3: The scientists detected a change in the test subjects brain waves.
iv. Test 4: the scientists found no change in these results.
f. What was the conclusion? Why were the results not considered supportive?
In conclusion, only one of the four tests had produced a positive result. This could
also be a result of chance alone.
g. Did all of the scientists agree with this conclusion?
No. they argue that it is impossible to accurately measure the extra sensory
phenomenon by observing electrophysiological indicators, because the methods
are too crude.
11. What type of study is this?
a. Blind
b. Double-blind *The study should have been conducted this way*
c. Hypothetical
Russian Biohealth Center Charged Water
12. What claims did the physicians make about the water at the clinic?
The physicians claimed that the water was charged with their energy and that it
contained curative powers.
a. What evidence did they have of this claim?
The physicians claimed that this water had properties that were detectable with a
dowsing rod.
b. What test did James Randi want to conduct to prove this? Was he able to?
James Randi wanted to see if the physicians could differentiate between the regular
water and the charged water without any visual cues. He was not able to conduct
this test because the physician said that the charge would be picked up by all other
water nearby, making it impossible to have concrete results.
13. What other claim did the physicians make about this water?

The physicians claimed that charged water would reduce blood pressure, aided
weight loss, increased energy, and boosted the immune system.
a. What evidence did they have of this claim?
None.
b. What test did James Randi want to conduct? Was he able to?
Randi wanted to use a conventional sphygmomanometer to measure his blood
pressure before and after drinking the charged water. However, he was unable to
conduct this experiment because none of the physicians knew how to use this
machine.
14. What experiment was conducted to finally test the water?
Randi also wanted to see if the physicians could differentiate between the regular
water and the charged water without any visual cues if they were placed in the
same room at a safe distance. He was not able to conduct this test because the
physician said that as each glass was being tested for a charge, it was receiving its
own separate charge.
a. What were the results of this experiment?
The experiment was concluded by the physicians telling Randi that the charged
water was impossible to test.
Russian Forensic Psychics
15. What do the two women claim to be able to do?
These two women claimed to be able to describe a persons life and personality in
great detail, using only their photograph for inspiration.
16. What experiment is designed to test their abilities?
Randi supplied the woman with several photographs to choose from and wanted to
make sure that he did not react of offer feedback to anything they said. This
ensured that no information would be accidently transmitted for interpretation.
a. What were the results of this experiment? What % of their statements were
wrong? What about the rest?
Two thirds (66.7%) of the statements the women made were wrong. The rest were
not very specific.