Common Questions

How Do Americans Feel about Psychics?

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  • By Cindy Simpson
  • Published: 07/16/20 3:18 PM EDT
  • Updated: 07/17/20 6:05 AM EDT

Although psychics are spread all around the world, different regions and societies have their own thoughts and contrasting perspectives on occult practices. While some people believe that psychic predictions are 100% authentic, there are individuals feeling that psychic readings might be yet another fraud. Such viewpoints are significantly influenced by so many instances of psychic scams over the centuries.

But how do Americans feel about psychics? Do they even believe in psychic abilities and supernatural powers?

To get answers to the frequently asked questions, I have collected data from two credible sources: Gallup and YouGov America. The data retrieved from the U.S. Gallup Survey and YouGov Omnibus was analyzed and the summary of the results is distributed throughout the article.

The topics that will be further discussed in the article include:

  • How Was the Survey Conducted?
  • Do Americans Believe in Psychics?
  • Have Americans Experienced a Psychic Moment?
  • Have Americans Felt the Presence of a Ghost?
  • What are the Differences Between Subgroups of the Americans?
  • What Are the Factors Influencing the Way Americans Feel About Psychics?

If you are intrigued by any of the topics mentioned above, read on!

How Was the Survey Conducted?

Gallop Poll conducted a survey to get an idea of how different subgroups of the American population feel about paranormal abilities and occult practices. The data was collected in 2001 (May 10-14) and it was compared to the results obtained through the survey conducted in 1990.

There was a total of 13 questions asked during the survey. The participants had to answer whether they believed in a particular phenomenon, they were not sure about it, or they did not believe in it.

The list of 13 phenomena that were mentioned during the survey is provided below:

  1. Psychic or spiritual healing abilities
  2. Extrasensory perception
  3. Haunted houses
  4. People possessed by the devil
  5. Ghosts or spirits of dead people
  6. Telepathy
  7. Extraterrestrial beings visiting earth
  8. Clairvoyance
  9. Mental communication with dead people
  10. Astrology
  11. Witches
  12. Reincarnation
  13. Channeling

On the other hand, YouGov America conducted a survey in 2017 to answer some of the most relevant questions, including the following:

  • Have you ever consulted a psychic or medium?
  • Have you ever experienced the presence of a spirit?
  • Are psychics and mediums fake?
  • Can individuals really see the future?
  • Can psychics contact the dead?
  • Are palm readings accurate?
  • Are tarot readings accurate?

The results of the surveys conducted by Gallup Poll and YouGov America are summarized and examined in the following five sections. 

Do Americans Believe in Psychics?

The first question we should ask is whether Americans believe in psychics or not. Since there are different types of psychics, people might believe in a particular type of psychic while regarding another psychic type as not reliable.

The Gallup survey asked specific questions about psychic healing, extrasensory perception, telepathy, clairvoyance, mental communication, astrology, and channeling. These are some of the most common types of psychic abilities.

The results of the survey are summarized in the table below.

Psychic Phenomenon Believe Not Sure Do Not Believe
Psychic Healing 54% 19% 26%
Extrasensory Perception 50% 20% 27%
Telepathy 36% 26% 35%
Clairvoyance 32% 23% 45%
Mental Communication 28% 26% 46%
Astrology 28% 18% 52%
Channeling 15% 21% 62%

Considering the results of the survey, more than half of the participants believe in psychic abilities that can heal the body, 50% believe in extrasensory perception, 36% think that telepathy is a real thing, 32% perceive clairvoyance as a reliable practice, 28% believe in mental communication, astrology is credible for 28%, and only 15% believe that one can allow a spirit to temporarily control a human body during a psychic séance.

Comparing the results from 2001 survey to the one conducted in 1990, it can be stated that the percentage of American population believing in certain psychic abilities have either remained the same or increased.

In the case of the YouGov America survey, the questions were focusing on the abilities to foresee the future and contact the dead, as well as the art of reading palm and Tarot cards. The results of the survey are provided in the following table.

Psychic Phenomenon Believe
Foreseeing the Future 24%
Contacting the Dead 21%
Palm Reading 9%
Tarot Card Reading 7%

Summing up the results, 24% of the surveyed US adults believe that people can see the future, 21% think that psychics can contact the dead, 9% perceive that palm readings are accurate, and only 7% believe that the Tarot card readings can provide reliable results.

If we compare the results of the three surveys, we can conclude that the number of people believing in specific psychic phenomena increases from 1990 to 2001 and then decreases from 2001 to 2017. Yet, since the participants of the two surveys were not from the same demographic and belief categories, it cannot be stated that this is how an average American feels.

Have Americans Experienced a Psychic Moment?

Even though some people who do not consider themselves as psychics, they have experienced a psychic moment. For instance, one might have guessed what would happen in the future or warned a friend about the possible future event.

According to the YouGov America survey conducted in 2017, only 22% of respondents have consulted a psychic to receive readings or feedback. Considering the results of the same study, 34% of participants have experienced a supernatural moment and had episodes that accurately predicted the future.

Of course, this might have been a simple coincidence or a real psychic episode. If a person regularly experiences mystic moments and forecasts future occurrences, he/she is most probably gifted with supernatural abilities. If one has just guessed that a particular thing would happen and the claim ended up being true, there might not be a connection with psychic abilities.

Have Americans Felt the Presence of a Ghost?

People visiting psychics or mediums have usually felt the presence of a ghost or a spirit during the séance. The reason for this is that many of the psychics connect with the dead to foresee the future and provide readings.

In some cases, individuals have even felt a spiritual presence without the involvement of a psychic. According to the YouGov America survey, 38% of respondents have felt that there was a ghost or a spirit around them.

Again, this might have been a real psychic episode or just a misunderstanding. People usually associate some unexplained events with the presence of ghosts. While this might be true in some cases, there are dozens of events occurring without the presence of a spirit that cannot be explained.

What Are the Differences Between Subgroups of the Americans?

Obviously, there are several aspects that affect the results of the survey. People from different subgroups have contrasting viewpoints. The following are some of the major differences categorized by subgroups.

  • Gender

As a result of both Gallup and YouGov America surveys, it can be concluded that women generally tend to believe in psychic phenomena more than men. Moreover, a higher percentage of women has felt the presence of a spirit compared to the number of men. The main reason for this might be the fact that women are more attentive than men.

  • Age

Major differences were noticed among age groups. For instance, Americans from 18 to 29 tend to believe in haunted houses, witches, ghosts, and extraterrestrials visiting the earth. On the other hand, people over 30 believe that people are sometimes possessed by the devil.

  • Educational Background

Education is yet another factor influencing how people think of different topics. As a result of the Gallup survey, it has been concluded that people with advanced educational backgrounds tend to believe that psychic abilities can heal the body. On the contrary, people with lower-level education believe in astrology, haunted houses, and demonic possession.

  • Religious Background

Religion is one of the most important aspects that should be considered while collecting results for any type of survey. 55% of religious participants responded that they believed in devil possession. Besides, they denied the fact that extraterrestrials might have visited our planet. Religious background promoted their thinking that it is not likely for any other world to exist.

What Are the Factors Influencing the Way Americans Feel About Psychics?

As we have discussed the results of the Gallup and YouGov America surveys, it is also important to mention some of the factors that might have influenced the way Americans feel about psychics.

As we have discussed in the previous section, age, gender, education, and religion are 4 major aspects that influenced the outcome of the survey. Some other factors that can affect the way we think of different psychic practices are discussed below.

  • Access to the Internet and Television

One of the factors playing a role in shaping our viewpoints about psychics is the access we have to the internet and television. The reason for this is that we learn new things by reading various articles or watching the news. This can later influence how we feel about various psychic phenomena.

  • Experience

Experience is yet another factor that can influence how one thinks of psychic practices. For instance, you might have had a good or bad experience after visiting a psychic or medium. Or, a friend of yours has talked to a psychic and shared his/her experience with you. This would have a significant impact on how you feel about psychics. If the readings ended up being true, you might believe that psychics can really predict the future. If not, you might simply think that psychics are not that reliable.

  • Psychic Scams

Psychic scams are widespread across the globe. Millions of people have been victims of psychic fraud for centuries. The reason for people not believing in psychic abilities can be the fact that they hear about psychic scams all the time. Unfortunately, the issue of psychic fraudsters makes people less likely to believe in real supernatural powers.

Notwithstanding, there are dozens of talented and experienced psychics who have helped numerous people. You just need to be careful with tricksters and follow precautions to avoid being a victim of organized psychic fraud.

Final Thoughts

Summing up, it can be stated that Americans have contrasting opinions about different psychic phenomena. There are several major factors that can influence how people feel about a particular topic, in this case, psychics. Four of the factors were considered while conducting a survey: gender, age, education, and religion.

As a result, more women believe in psychic practices than men. Along with that, youngsters believe in more mysterious phenomena, while people over 30 believe in demonic possession and other psychic abilities.

Considering the educational background, people with high-level education believe in healing power, while people with lower-level knowledge think that psychic abilities linked with astrology and clairvoyance are real.

In the case of religion, people with strong religious background think that a person might be possessed with the devil but do not believe that beings from outer space have ever visited our planet. On the other hand, 14% of people for whom religion is not that important stated that they believe in demonic possession.

As we have discussed, there might be other factors influencing how Americans feel about psychics. For instance, access to social media and TV shows, personal experience, stories heard from other people, and psychic scams.

Notwithstanding, numerous reliable psychics can provide personalized readings and help you in various situations. You just need to be extremely attentive and careful while choosing the psychics. As long as you make the right choice, you should not worry about becoming yet another victim of a psychic scam.

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