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A psychic (pronounced /ˈsaɪkɨk/; from the Greek ψυχικός psychikos—"of the mind, mental", also called sensitive[1]) is a person who professes an ability to perceive information hidden from the normal senses through extrasensory perception (ESP), or is said by others to have such abilities. It is also used to describe theatrical performers who use techniques such as prestidigitation, cold reading, and hot reading to produce the appearance of such abilities. It can also denote an ability of the mind to influence the world physically and to the telekinetic powers allegedly professed by those such as Uri Geller.

Psychics appear regularly in fiction and science fiction, such as in the novel The Dead Zone by Stephen King, or the Marvel Comics telepath and psychic Jean Grey. A large industry exists whereby psychics provide advice and counsel to clients.[2] Some famous contemporary psychics include Miss Cleo,[3] John Edward, Danielle Egnew, and Sylvia Browne.

Critics attribute psychic powers to intentional trickery or self-delusion.[4][5][6][7] In 1988 the U.S. National Academy of Sciences gave a report on the subject that concluded there is "no scientific justification from research conducted over a period of 130 years for the existence of parapsychological phenomena."[8] Despite that, psychic powers continue to be asserted by psychic detectives and in practices such as psychic archaeology and even psychic surgery.


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