In the article “Local reader…” article from Thursday 8/21 in the Athens News, senior writer Jim Phillips describes a typical trip to a ‘psychic’.
First of all, the evidence tells us that there is no such thing as psychic powers. Also, magicians and mentalists can describe exactly what psychics do as a technique. As described in the article, psychics say things are extremely generic and relevant to a very large percentage of the population. Granted, this is a technique that takes time to develop well and is aided by some basic intuition into human behavior. It is very easy to sum someone up in a superficial way upon meeting them (i.e. – approximate age, wedding ring, mood, etc), and then from this follows some very broad statements that apply to most people. Psychics do, however, really make themselves look foolish when they say things like ‘don’t trust shady contractors’ because this is incredibly obvious (for those who haven't read the article, she does in fact say this).
If you wish to investigate how psychics do what they do I suggest looking into mentalist tricks, cold and hot readings, and other materials published by magicians. This is information available to anyone, so I will not get into it (maybe another blog another time).
I would also like to point out that some people go to psychics knowing it probably is not legit and treat it as a novelty. This is fine, but still, the psychic in the article is claiming to offer a legit service and not a novelty.