Olivia Munn revealed recently that she believes in Theresa Caputo, star of the TLC reality show Long Island Medium. Munn told the story of her meeting Caputo and the conversation that took place between them that convinced her Caputo was the real deal.
"Theresa Caputo and I met at Live With Kelly and Michael in 2012. Within five minutes of meeting me, she said, 'You had a necklace of your grandmother's, but I feel like you don't have it anymore — like it was given away by accident. Does that make sense?'
"It did: When I was little, my grandmother had a glass locket with gold chips in it. I felt a connection to it — but when she passed away, for some reason I gave it to my cousin Carrie. Years later, I found out Carrie no longer had it [it turns out Olivia's mom had taken it!], which made me upset. So I decided to get another necklace that looked just like it.
"I didn't tell anyone I had done that; not one person in the world knew. But Theresa did. She said, 'Your grandmother wants you to know that even though you don't have the original anymore, she's really happy that you had a replica made.' I was like, 'Oh, my gosh.' She has a gift."
Honored to have been in the same room where the souls of some Sandy Hook victims were channeled💙 @Theresacaputo's gift is amazing 🙌🏾
— Ashley Mensa (@ashjemima) July 19, 2015
Notice in Olivia Munn's recounting of her meeting Caputo that she was asked, "Does that make sense?"
Why does a question like that matter in the consideration of whether Theresa Caputo is a charlatan or has some real ability to receive messages from dead people?
James Randi, famous for exposing psychic charlatans, points to that as a technique people like Theresa Caputo uses.
"Caputo does what’s known in my trade as 'cold reading,'" Randi explains about Olivia Munn's friend. "The very best practitioners can pick up enough information in what seems like innocent, idle conversation to convince you that they know very specific things about you. The scientific phenomenon is called the Forer effect — giving credence to vague observations that seem personal."
Theresa Caputo can honestly make you feel amazing
— Claudia (@Claudjayy) July 19, 2015
Randi goes on to explain how someone like Olivia Munn may be fooled by Caputo's performance.
"That technique consists of simply tossing out initials, names and situations to the subject, asking casual questions while guessing, and a handful of other manipulative psychological techniques to appear to be demonstrating psychic powers."
“'Is there an anniversary coming up?' A birthday or something?'”
“'He/she just said to me …' 'He’s proud of you' and the ever-popular 'Do you understand?' — to which the answer is always a nod of assent. What else is a beguiled believer to do when told: 'She’s happy in Heaven?'"
you think if i stand next to theresa caputo at the gym long enough she'll pickup like my dead great great grandpa or somethin?
— ɐuʞnɹ ʞnɯɐɹ (@Ankur_kumar1) July 14, 2015