Richard Wiseman joined me today on KTRS/St. Louis to talk about his new book, “Paranormality: Why We See What Isn’t There.” In it, Wiseman — who has been researching paranormal claims for over 20 years — debunks them, explains them, and provides some historical perspective for what psychics, hypnotists, and others claim is supernatural, but isn’t.
The most amazing thing about “Paranormality” is that Wiseman couldn’t find an American publisher to release the book here — even the ones that have published his previous best-sellers — despite its success in England and other countries. I asked him about that, as well as:
- Whether his background as a magician helps him look for deception by people claiming paranormal ability;
- Why, as we know more about the real world, more people believe in garbage;
- The story of the supposedly psychic dog;
- Why the unreliability of eyewitness testimony isn’t challenged more often in court;
- The scientific explanation for “out of body” experiences;
- Why people refuse to believe the truth even after it’s been revealed to them;
- Whether the US military and intelligence community learned anything after spending hundreds of millions testing people with supposedly paranormal abilities.
Also worth your time…
- My conversation with Richard Wiseman about his remote-viewing-via-Twitter experiment, in which he asked people around the world to try to picture in their minds where he was at a certain time on a certain day. Thanks to Twitter, he was able to compile instant feedback, and we discussed the results. (6/19/09)
- Richard Wiseman’s infamous Color Changing Card Trick video, which has been viewed over 4.5 million times.
- My conversation with Richard Wiseman about his book “Quirkology” and many other cool psychological experiments, including how to write the best personal ad, the funniest joke in the world, why you can’t remember where you left your keys, and what subjects to avoid when speed-dating (5/07)
- Another conversation I had with Richard Wiseman about “Quirkology” regarding visual perception and the time he pitted a “financial astrologer” against a stock broker against a 4-year-old girl to see who could pick winning companies (9/5/07)