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The Full Facts Book of Cold Reading: A Comprehensive Guide to the Most Persuasive Psychological Technique in the World: A Comprehensive Guide to the ... Manipulation Technique in the World [Paperback]

Ian Rowland
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A comprehensive guide to the world's most persuasive communication psychology technique, as applied to psychic readings and some related fields. This book has already sold tens of thousands of copies around the world, without a single penny spent on advertising or promotion. (Has only been available via Amazon for a short time). Although it chiefly describes cold reading mainly in the context of fake psychic readings, the book has a final chapter showing how some of the same techniques can apply to other contexts, such as selling, negotiation, business and even criminal interrogation!

Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Ian Rowland Limited; 4th Revised edition edition (2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0955847605
  • ISBN-13: 978-0955847608
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 15.2 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 214,187 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


The definitive work, and long overdue. Has many applications to mind magic, close-up, and any inter-active performance. --Derren Brown

A superb book, relentlessly intelligent and fiercely methodical! Its pages systematically unravel every deceptive strategy of thinking and rhetoric in 'psychic' character reading. --Teller (of 'Penn & Teller')

We've received many inquiries about how more detailed information on the art of 'cold reading' can be obtained. Here is the definitive answer to that question. Our friend Ian Rowland, in the UK, is probably the world's leading authority on the subject, and his book, 'The Full Facts Book of Cold Reading' is now available. No other book I know of will provide this information. Every aspect of this art that I can think of, is represented here in detail, and it provided me with additional information I simply did not have. Highly recommended! --James Randi, James Randi Educational Foundation

About the Author

Ian Rowland is a writer, trainer and entertainer based in London, UK. He has entertained people all over the world with his talks and lectures about 'Real mind power... the amazing things your mind can do, whether you realise it or not'. He is widely acknowledged as the world's foremost authority on cold reading and the psychology of communication. He has lectured on this and related subjects to the Ministry of Defence (British Government) as well as leading consultancy companies in the UK and Europe, and also presents shows and lectures around the world, for example at the Times Literary Festival at Oxford University and the World Skeptic's Congress in Italy. His work has been featured on many TV shows, and his demonstration of cold reading for an ABC 'Prime Time' special was seen by an estimated ten million people.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
56 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating book 24 Jun 2008
This book is a well-written guide to the tecchniques used in "Cold reading", the process by which psychics, mediums and other performers appear to read their subjects' minds. It seems to be intended both as a manual to teach the techniques to its readers, and a guide to debunking the claims of "real" psychics who charge for consultations. I thought it did both well.

I found it to be clearly written and logically laid out; it's comfortable and interesting enough to read all the way through as a complete text, but the layout still makes it easy to dip into if you're looking for something specific.

I read it from the perspective of wanting to learn how cold reading works, with a view to trying it as part of a show. I feel I learned a lot and have successfully used some of the techniques the book describes, much to the bafflement of some friends and a few strangers in pubs!

The author also spends some time examining the techniques used by professional mediums and psychics who claim that their powers are real and charge for consultations. This section of the book would be a fantastic place to direct any of your friends who are drawn in to this nonsense, as it explains clearly how they're being manipulated and how to spot the weak points in their favourite psychic's performance.

The book is quite pricey, but worth the money in my opinion. I've never found another book that covers this subject anywhere near as completely or clearly as this one.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
The book is an excellent introduction to the techniques used by fake psychics and palm readers. Good level of detail and some real-life examples. I would have preferred a little more coverage on the scenarios where apparently specific details are provided, but overall well worth a read.
I would advise buying it directly from the author's own website though, it's half the price there.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By Richard Murphy VINE VOICE
This is simply the best "how to" guide I have ever read. Ian Rowland systematically set out the theory and practice of how to convince strangers that, through supernatural powers, you have insight into their lives.

He is not (quite) saying that there are no genuine psychics. What he is clearly saying is that the astonishing abilities often demonstrated in readings can be achieved by humans with knowledge, skill and practice. He leaves it to the reader to reach their own conclusion on whether this multi-billion pound industry, which targets the most emotionally vulnerable, is full of well meaning charlatans, exploitative liars and fraudsters without conscience.

The book is well structured but is no text-book - his conversational style makes it an easy read. "Section 2: How Cold Reading Works" is the heart of the book. The approaches are set out with colourful names (Rainbow Ruses, Barnum Statements, Pollyanna Pearls, Sugar Lumps to name just a few) and with illustrations to make them their usage clear.

Through real life examples he then shows how techniques that seem cold and obvious on the page can be made warm and convincing when delivered in a face-to-face encounter.

If a newspaper article or tv program has made you curious about cold reading, this is the book to buy. If you have had a powerful psychic reading, and you are torn as to whether you believe it or not, this book gives you the tools to think rationally about what you have experienced, and could help you make a judgment that is informed. For everyone else I just recommend it as a great read.

Do shop around for this book, as it is pricey. However, even at the list price, it is less than the cost of one visit to a psychic and, in my view at least, will leave you very much better informed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Read 9 Feb 2011
As a Hypnotist I'm quite interested in all things a bit weird & wacky. I am a true sceptic just like the auther but I really wanted to know how these people who claim they can see your future & speak with your dead relative can do it. This book explains it all. You will find it a great read. Its writen in a funny way at times to which made me laugh. If you read Derren Browns Trick Of The Mind you will note that Derren rocommends this book as he to has a distatse for these so called fotune teller types. If you are interested in knowing the real this book. I bought it from the authors own website, just goole him and you will find it. The book was only 25 there and arrived in a matter of days.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First rate debunker of myths 8 Jan 2011
I stumbled upon this book a while ago and I was really surprised. I didn't know that such a book existed. It was a revelation. First of all it explains in detail the techniques that cold readers (fortune tellers, psychics, channelers) use that are so impressive. These same techniques that make believers see "proof" that a person has special powers, and that make skeptics wonder, ok, he's not really psychic, but how did he know that? It doesn't skim either, it really explores each technique and how it can be applied, so it is quite meaty. The book furthermore explains how anyone can practice these techniques and get results, for those who are interested. Finally it gives a sequence of steps that can be applied to debunk any cold reader. The strange thing is that the book doesn't seem to be very well known. With so many books about psychics and horoscopes of one kind or another filling our bookshops, Rowland's book it an impressive contribution to critical thinking. This work would be right at home in any skeptic's book shelf.

If this book was taught in schools (preferably as a part of religion class), a whole generation of kids would grow up a little less gullible about horoscopes, tarot cards and salesmen.

The only criticism I would have is the price. Bloody expensive. I got my copy for free, luckily
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't see a psychic without reading this book!
I agree with all the 5 star reviewers. I genuinely could not put this book down, and I've only said that about three books in my life. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Professor H
5.0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC
I bought this book following a recommendation from a world class magician. This book demonstrates, with examples throughout, how a person may use language to persuade and influence... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Martinwhynot
5.0 out of 5 stars The Cold Reading Bible
This is simply the best book on Cold Reading - Ever! If you haven't got it - get it. You really won't be disappointed.
Published on 17 Nov 2011 by Phil The Bear
1.0 out of 5 stars Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.
The book is very illuminating and entertaining, but my copy had many pages that bled through, and started to disintegrate -- pages simply dropped out of the binding -- almost... Read more
Published on 5 July 2011 by Jon A. Pastor
5.0 out of 5 stars The most comprehensive con of our time exposed!
Before I begin in my review I'll quickly state for the record that I do not know for sure if real mediums or psychics exist, in fact no one can make that claim. Read more
Published on 2 April 2011 by Paul Stevens
5.0 out of 5 stars A fabulous book that holds nothing back
This is a book I have read and re-read. It is absolutely packed with fascinating information that reveals... Read more
Published on 16 Feb 2011 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A Parapsycologist View
If you have ever been to see a so called Physic, this Book will help you to find out if indeed they are using Cold Reading. Read more
Published on 2 Dec 2010 by JOHN GREEN
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Interesting Read
What this book does, is make no direct claims about whether true Psychic abilities exist or do not exist. Read more
Published on 17 Nov 2010 by Sean O'Reilly
5.0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Guide
I have met Ian and been on his Applied Cold Reading Course down in London and this book is a pre-read for that course. Read more
Published on 15 May 2010 by Michael Scott
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent book.
the only reason i didn't give this book 5* is the price. Very well written. A must-have for any budding mentalists or scam artists out there. Read more
Published on 9 April 2010 by Barry O' Leary
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