A psychic is a person who claims to use extrasensory perception (ESP) to identify information hidden from the normal senses, particularly involving telepathy or clairvoyance, or who performs acts that are apparently inexplicable by natural laws. Although many people believe in psychic abilities, the scientific consensus is that there is no proof of the existence of such powers, and describes the practice as pseudoscience. The word "psychic" is also used as an adjective to describe such abilities.
Psychics encompass people in a variety of roles. Some are theatrical performers, such as stage magicians, who use various techniques, e.g., prestidigitation, cold reading, and hot reading, to produce the appearance of such abilities for entertainment purposes. A large industry and network exists whereby people advertised as psychics provide advice and counsel to clients. Some famous psychics include Edgar Cayce, Ingo Swann, Peter Hurkos, Janet Lee, Jose Ortiz El Samaritano, Miss Cleo, John Edward, Sylvia Browne, and Tyler Henry. Psychic powers are asserted by psychic detectives and in practices such as psychic archaeology and even psychic surgery.
Critics attribute psychic powers to intentional trickery or to self-delusion. In 1988 the U.S. National Academy of Sciences gave a report on the subject and concluded there is "no scientific justification from research conducted over a period of 130 years for the existence of parapsychological phenomena". A study attempted to repeat recently reported parapsychological experiments that appeared to support the existence of precognition. Attempts to repeat the results, which involved performance on a memory test to ascertain if post-test information would affect it, "failed to produce significant effects" and thus "do not support the existence of psychic ability" of this kind.
Psychics are sometimes featured in science fiction and fantasy fiction. Examples of fiction featuring characters with psychic powers include the Star Wars franchise, which features "Force-sensitive" beings that can see into the future and move objects telekinetically, along with Dungeons & Dragons and some of the works of Stephen King, amongst many others.