According to psychologist and professor Richard Wiseman, people receiving psychic readings are the reason why psychics look like they know what they're doing. And it doesn't even matter if they're accurate or not!
Dr. Wiseman, who's been studying controlled psychic experiments, told BBCNews how it works. The most common strategy is for the so-called psychic to make general, sweeping statements--or statements that can be interpreted in more than one way. A line such as, "the spirits are talking about the younger woman who has passed away," could refer to a young child, a teenager or someone who died in their forties. When a person hears this, they are usually the ones to supply concrete information. Something like, "Oh, that's my sister."
A person who seeks out a psychic wants to believe the statement is true. They want a connection to be made so they go that extra mile to make whatever is said "fit".
Another reason people put their belief in psychics is because they only remember the psychic's "hits" and quickly forget their "misses." Wiseman said it should also be noted that psychics pay particular attention to how a person dresses, talks and the things they reveal about themselves. They're very good listeners. They can read your expressions and body language, so they seem more intuitive than they actually are. And people believe because they want to believe.
So there's actually nothing psychic about a psychic. They're just good listeners and expert body language readers.