Academic Exposure

All beginners in magic should address their questions here.

Postby Jonathan Townsend » 06/02/08 11:37 AM

http://www.livescience.com/php/video/pl ... o_id=Magic

Have a close look at the hand actions during the first real tosses then the palming toss.

Then watch what they do with their hands just after the third tossing action and what they do with their face.

The word "unfortunate" comes to mind.
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Postby Dave V » 06/02/08 01:35 PM

You're right. I think it's unfortunate that I've seen way too many magicians that look like part two.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 06/02/08 01:43 PM

Look again at part one - check out the palsy after the second toss and that strange turn and expression change - and overcompensation with the other hand.

By way of control - explore covering part of the screen and watch again as you notice other stuff :).
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Postby David Alexander » 06/03/08 12:28 AM

I believe this is a video used as part of a study of perception and the control of a spectator's pov. The narrative on the side seems to suggest this:

"When magician looks up on final "toss," study subjects reported seeing the ball move to top of screen and vanish. In 2nd clip, the palming is obvious. Credit:Gustav Kuhn"

Kuhn is a university professor in the UK who writes: "I am interested in visual perception, and the factors that determine our conscious perception of the world. In particular, what are the mechanisms that drive our attentional system to select certain events at the expense of others? I use a wide range techniques, from laboratory based reaction time tasks to eye tracking measures, both in the lab and the real world."

The primary difference in the second clip is where the performer is looking. As Malini used to say when talking about misdirection, "It's the eye."
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 06/03/08 09:53 AM

Yes David, that facile analysis may help begin this discussion of denial and obliviouisness...

Now what about that display of what appears as a palsy, an overcompensation and ... on the first section of that video?

Or why academics are involved in such?
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Postby Ian Kendall » 06/03/08 10:33 AM

Instead of 'facile' insert 'accurate' and we can move on from what is obviously nothing to do with magic.

It's an educational video, not about magic, with someone who may or may not be a magician. It's not an example of how to palm a ball, but if you want to apply serious magic techniques to non magic videos let's discuss the bottom deal in 'Maverick'.

Take care, Ian
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 06/03/08 11:07 AM

Ian - a report which misses the incongruent actions of the performer is ... shall we say "facile" and be kind about it or do we need to get into accurate language?

There are plenty of ways to make a ball vanish - so let's leave out the obvious and get down to what's on the video - and how it actually looks (it's a perception study exhibit) and also what some here seem to want to delete (also perception though of a different sort) and discuss.

Yes, the video is educational - as is this discussion - we don't often get to step back from our illusions and see what the world sees.
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Postby Ian Kendall » 06/03/08 02:53 PM

The report has nothing to do with hand position, nor does it need to. It's about eye lines, and if you want to read more into it it seems like you need something for your hands to do.

Any incongruent actions of someone who may or may not be a performer are irrelevant since it's not a performance. Now, if you can find a video of a _show_ where this happens, we have an educational discussion. Frankly, however many polysyllabic words we throw at this one, it's still a waste of bandwidth.

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Postby Lemniscate » 06/03/08 09:22 PM

I'm so confused, by most of the posts in this thread. I'll try to home in on what we are trying to discuss...

Jonathan, are you seriously asking "why academics are involved in such?" I can only assume you are being sarcastic. However the other verbiage in your post contradicts that assumption yet the obviousness of why academics are involved .... see? losing my mind.

Ian,
This is by no means a waste of bandwidth. The principles involved, while obvious to us, are not obvious to all performers (see Dave's post for example). While I am not sure I agree that evaluating an academic demonstration like it was a performance is meaningful in the first place, using it as a foil to demonstrate a common move and common mistakes is the exact opposite of a waste of bandwidth. It is meaningful, can result in improve performances, and represents pretty much the learning process.

I'd rather have a youtube video as an example (again, an academic demonstration is not the same thing as a performance and to confuse it as one demonstrates a lack of understanding of the process) but it is still interesting.

Lem
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 06/03/08 09:55 PM

[grouch]
I'm asking why the academics are using such inept examples and asking their subjects to be blind to that which is obvious by inspection. What palsy? What smirk? What overcompensation? What denial both there and here of such even when given clean instruction on how to not miss seeing this for yourself (obstruct part of the screen when watching). Nobody notice the basic problem of "what accounts for the magic" missing from the basic offering? Given that we have a clean discussion of "the eye" going back to Robert-Houdin's book - and further findings offered by John Ramsay and Tommy Wonder - how does this exposure help us?
[/grouch]

Obviously I have no issue with perception studies and point out what I learn of when an item looks useful - see that one about our feature detector which also seems to account for motion in the near future?

If you are going to sell out to academia and do exposure - PLEASE do it well enough that we can all benefit. PLEASE. Pimping our craft to the ivory tower is itself nothing to laud.

My opinion that perception research need not involve any exposure of magical items or even any implied magical context stands. there are plenty of studies of magical thinking and cognitive development which make use of the same principles we use in dual-reality and perception-expectation which we might learn from yet themselves don't offer any compromising of the "how" of our craft.
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Postby David Alexander » 06/03/08 11:40 PM

Henry Kissinger supposedly said that academic arguments are so viscious because the stakes were so small.

The "stakes" involved here are positively microscopic.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 06/04/08 06:13 AM

DNA, viruses and cancer cells are "positively microscopic" too.

The stakes here - like elementary particles and DNA are what accumulate to make things what they are be they healthy tumors or just "belle indifference".

Diagnostics aside, having recently read the Greg Egan stories "Oracle" and "Demon's Passage" the themes were just too close to leave without mention and perhaps even dare to hope some will explore.
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Postby Lemniscate » 06/04/08 03:03 PM

Jonathan Townsend wrote:My opinion that perception research need not involve any exposure of magical items or even any implied magical context stands.


I there is where we have a difference of opinion. You take the stance that a psychological response that is used in magic now can no longer be used in psychology. I believe that any psychological response, regardless of whether magicians, musicians, or politicians use it, is still a valid subject for psychological studies.

The rest of your arguments move from that and I just can't agree. Again, I don't understand what your viewpoint or opinion on "academics" actually means, but it is obviously different than mine. This is actually hard to say, but I can't fathom any world where your arguments make sense to me. I really can't. I'm sorry but I just can't see any reasonable approach that results with your opinion. I think you have lost your objectivity due to your relationship to "magic" and are utterly without justification here. However, that is just my opinion. Let's just leave it at that
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 06/04/08 03:17 PM

First: this
You take the stance that a psychological response that is used in magic now can no longer be used in psychology.
is simply not my position. What gave you this impression?

I simply don't see any good in exposure done under cover of sucking up to academia. If one wishes to learn some psychology and do experiments - great - but coming in as clowns with skillz is just (again IMHO) further disgracing our art.

I believe experimental design issues make conjuring performances a lousy stimulus set for cognition and perception studies as there are just too many variables to confound.

3) Folks here seem to want to ignore stuff like that palsied hand display which is incongruent to the display after the first two tosses. And then we get to the shrug and overcompensation done by the other hand after the unmotivated vanish. All things which affect the viewer BTW.

Of the three - not sure which is of greater concern.

What specifically do you mean by "your relationship to magic" ?

At least one of us has a degree in psychology and wants to learn more. L*, I hope both of us can be open to the "learning more" part.
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Postby Bob Gerdes » 06/04/08 03:20 PM

Jonathan: you are editing your posts over five hours after you first post them! I read your 6:13 AM post this morning... it was quite different than it is now.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 06/04/08 03:31 PM

Bob Gerdes wrote:Jonathan: you are editing your posts over five hours after you first post them! I read your 6:13 AM post this morning... it was quite different than it is now.


Bob, even though this is a distraction from the topic of discussion on this thread and you were not specific about which post it was you were making comment about...I will guess and suggest it was when I added this:
"Diagnostics aside, having recently read the Greg Egan stories "Oracle" and "Demon's Passage" the themes were just too close to leave without mention and perhaps even dare to hope some will explore."
for the benefit of those who enjoy backtracking themes and wondered where I got the idea of a cancer tumor having an opinion.

let me know via email at the yahoo address if you see any post seem to change meaning or context and I will address any such and may even ask the mods to revert a post.

If I change my mind about something which has been replied to in context or mentioned after - I just add a post even if to say "oops" or such. :)

PS yes I do change the "edited reason" commnent even if fixing a typo and put fun stuff in there - hope that's not the alarming aspect.
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Reason: yup - tonality counts :)
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Postby Bob Gerdes » 06/04/08 05:16 PM

You even edited the post where you are responding about your editing! I guess you can't help yourself. ;) I agree that tonality counts... may I suggest that you consider the tone of your posts before you hit "submit" and limit the editing to typos? Multiple edits are also distracting...

Back to the topic:

Jonathan Townsend wrote:If you are going to sell out to academia and do exposure - PLEASE do it well enough that we can all benefit. PLEASE. Pimping our craft to the ivory tower is itself nothing to laud.


So, do you think that magic is completely off-limits to scientific scrutiny (studies on perception/cognition) because it may involve discussion of methods? A lot of insight can be gained about how the brain works by examining instances where it gets things wrong (speech errors, optical illusions, magic tricks, etc). Seems to me like a reasonable thing to study.

I think youre being a little too tough on the guy and his less than exquisite palming of a ball.

Heres a link to his website and research interests:

http://www.dur.ac.uk/gustav.kuhn/#ResearchInterests

I havent had a chance to read some of his papers yet, but I suspect there is something there that may be of benefit and/or interest to us as magicians.
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Postby Lemniscate » 06/04/08 05:48 PM

My bachelor's degree is in NPB (Neurobiology, Physiology, & Behavior) from the University of California, Davis for the record. I also have a Masters. Now that that is taken care of...

To answer your points in order:

re: what gave me that impression. That would be your posts. I quoted one specific line ("perception research need not involve any exposure of magical items or even any implied magical context"). Your words have incredibly far reach, you must realize that. Simply because magicians have integrated psychological methods into tricks does not now make them sacred. Magicians operate by manipulating perception, I cannot possibly see how perception research should ignore either the principle OR the application of these types of effects. It's really pretty simple, you are saying they can't ever use anything used in a magic "context" and I am saying they can. I see no justification, legal, ethical, or otherwise to lend your viewpoint credence. As I said, this is just my opinion and yours, no big deal, I just can't reconcile our basic viewpoints no matter how I try.

Next, regarding experimental design issues, I again question your basic premise. Experimental design is based on the idea of eliminating as many variables as possible. It is virtually impossible to eliminate all of them, but you can eliminate many. In the type of study under discussion, every single person who watches it gets the point. While you do not happen to approve of the fine details, the message and experiment would still be valid. I think we both know this yet you insist it isn't. If it wasn't then the whole point would have been lost or only obvious to a select few. Again, our basic starting points do not reconcile. As somebody who, LITERALLY, does experiments every single day, I happen to think that I am pretty knowledgeable about this and, again, do not see merit in your argument. I mean, let's face it, according to you no disease could ever be cured because "there are just too many variables".

Finally, in regards to point 3, I happen to agree. As previously posted (no edits, for whatever than is worth to those watching), I said that, as a foil, the demonstration shows what conjurers might want to evaluate (the hand display, for example) but only as a foil. To imply that a experiment should act as a performance model is... um... wishful thinking at best.

It's kind of funny, you berate the whole idea by talking about "too many variables" yet add more in even though the academic idea was communicated to every, single person PERFECTLY clearly.

Oh, and by relationship to magic I merely meant this: as somebody with this hobby/profession/obsession, you think that magic "owns" the principles. You detest exposure. I get it. However that doesn't make it correct.

The Smithsonian and, closer to me, the Tech Musuem in California are just two examples of "academic" institutions where such displays are present all of the time. The Exploratorium in San Francisco is another example. Last time I went, they had an "optics" section. Several of the displays would fit your criteria of "exposure done under cover of sucking up to academia". Example: A box with two mirrors showing how a shallow box can be made to look deep. It even referenced stage magic. I must assume that you have the same problem with those types of display as the one in question. Again, we differ in our conclusions. Magic does not "own" these principles. Nor do you.

You are free to express your opinion that you don't approve of how or what is taught but I am equally free to tell you that I think you are simply ranting about a topic you are passionate about and have jumped to conclusions that are neither logical nor defensible as far as I can tell.

That's it. I just don't agree and, try as I might, can't even come part-way to your viewpoint.

Lem

EDIT: Changed an "or" to "of"
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 06/04/08 05:54 PM

Bob you're distracting again.

So, do you think that magic is completely off-limits to scientific scrutiny (studies on perception/cognition) because it may involve discussion of methods?


so, can you write plainly?

Can you ask if I am in favor of exposure?

Can you form cogent questions?

Can you honor a request to take your off-topic questions into email?

Can you distinguish between studies of perception/cognition and specious and dubious research which adds nothing to either psychology or conjuring?

Kuhn may be well intended. I stand by my statement that useful psychology research is not likely to include conjuring performances for purposes of learning about perception or cognition - perhaps in social psychology there is much to be learned though that's a different field.

focus. Watch the ball. Ignore the palsy. Ponder the smirk. How do you feel?

meh
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 06/04/08 06:14 PM

To answer L*'s item (or one as I'm off to dinner in a bit):

I quoted one specific line ("perception research need not involve any exposure of magical items or even any implied magical context"). Your words have incredibly far reach, you must realize that.


Have you considered that by magical item I may well be (IMHO am) literally referring to something magicians perform and use often and perhaps even something directly out of our books or magic catalog?

By way of example - Why expose wildcard by trying it with larger and larger numbers of cards till you get folks behaving in a way which suggests they have figured out it must be something about the cards themselves - or another item like that ball vanish done so poorly you can't not notice the performer's compensations?

I usually ask when I have questions about what another person believes or desires or such. Yeah I know that's not strictly behaviorism and presumes "sentience" and "consciousness" but those are supposed to be part of what makes us people.

We can discuss the rest of your presuppositions about my inner world as given in your posted text later. Though till you show sufficient care in this matter it's tough to believe how much you know.

Since we know about just noticeable differences - it gets interesting watching folks watch conjuring.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 06/04/08 06:52 PM

Lemniscate wrote:... you must realize that...you are saying they can't ever ... I see no justification, legal, ethical, or otherwise to lend your viewpoint credence....every single person who watches it gets the point. ...I think we both know this yet...do not see merit in your argument. I mean, let's face it, according to you no disease could ever be cured because "there are just too many variables".
...I must assume that you ...tell you that I think you are simply ranting about...


My dinner company asked that I at least parse out the language issues and obstacles I find to our having a nice chat - as I very much do want to learn and have open discussion.

I also happen to support exploring some of what's described in NLP for seeking out better cues to use when making observations of how and when others acquire a perception or cognition since fMRI equipment is simply not home-use yet as are video cameras.

I am all for research and studies and have no issue with conjurers doing studies or helping set up appropriate stimuli for well designed psychology studies. Let's take that as a given - have a look at my posts to see what bugs me.

Enjoy your dinner folks. And have a look at those whose works I reference as they have also been pondering some ideas we may find useful too.
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Postby Bob Gerdes » 06/04/08 07:37 PM

Jonathan Townsend wrote:Bob you're distracting again.

So, do you think that magic is completely off-limits to scientific scrutiny (studies on perception/cognition) because it may involve discussion of methods?


so, can you write plainly?

Can you ask if I am in favor of exposure?

Can you form cogent questions?

Can you honor a request to take your off-topic questions into email?

Can you distinguish between studies of perception/cognition and specious and dubious research which adds nothing to either psychology or conjuring?

Kuhn may be well intended. I stand by my statement that useful psychology research is not likely to include conjuring performances for purposes of learning about perception or cognition - perhaps in social psychology there is much to be learned though that's a different field.

focus. Watch the ball. Ignore the palsy. Ponder the smirk. How do you feel?

meh


Jonathan! I thought you said tonality counts! :D Ill just assume you were cranky because it was dinner time

Why are you so sure that this guys studies are specious and dubious research?
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 06/04/08 09:01 PM

Jonathan! I thought you said tonality counts! \:D Ill just assume you were cranky because it was dinner time

Why are you so sure that this guys studies are specious and dubious research?



Closer Bob, still not well formed or clean language but let's go with ahead for now and examine the studies or at least this one cited: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 130533.htm

Here is the article text I found alarming: "to demonstrate how magicians can distort our perception in an everyday situation by manipulating our expectations". IMHO that experiment could just as well have used digital editing to remove the ball from the clip. IMHO the method used and its open discussion wind up at our expense and that's what gets me grouchy.

Is the measured phenomenon a novel finding in psychology? (no) or in conjuring? (no) but the finding does make the news (okay) but so too does the content used as stimulus in the experiment - and from that we get comments on the video source as shown on first link in OP.

By way of contrast, have a look here: http://www.jstor.org/pss/1130803
There is what amounts to a cogent discussion of how some of our methods (false transfers and implied motion following) work and it seems to work with very young folks but not too young. ;)

or here: http://fias.uni-frankfurt.de/~triesch/p ... DL2006.pdf

or here: http://www.developmentalpsychologyarena ... 0805847505

or here: http://psycnet.apa.org/index.cfm?fa=sea ... -06066-008

and we have an idea of just how far attention and attention cues have been studied.

If an infant is presumed to be working at this level: http://www.jcss.gr.jp/iccs99OLP/o4-01/o4-01.htm what does that imply about folks with even more experience moving around and acting on the world?

There has been some study of when humans learn to handle surprising or deceptive situations (guile) - all done without showcasing tricks or magicians - but instead studying what the subjects seem to believe based upon what they are shown and how they act. I'm all for that kind thing.

There's a study where you find out if a person can hold the concept of "what would someone else think if..." that pretty much sets up the notion of guile without contaminating the person thanks to a "pretend" scenario and the use of a puppet.

I feel that an effective study of perception and/or cognition need not offer a frame with a "magician" to explore how people make their model of the world or what strategies are most effective for people to learn when to revise their models or how to revise their models.

So much to learn there - and IMHO what we know as magicians can help set up situations where the phenomenon we want to study can be cued in the subjects. IMHO this can be done without deconstructing our tricks to serve directly as experimental stimuli.

* added * by way of McLuhan - IMHO The method should not be the stimulus.
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Postby Michael Kamen » 06/04/08 10:18 PM

I don't see what all the fuss is about. No one is going to remember that method at the critical moment when you need it. If they do, its your fault not some academic's.

Just my opinion now.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 06/04/08 10:28 PM

Michael Kamen wrote:... No one is going to remember that method at the critical moment ...


That's an interesting idea and probably a rewarding area to explore - what has to be true in order for pertinent ideas to be brought into awareness?
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Postby Michael Kamen » 06/05/08 12:18 AM

Magicians are interesting. Why wouldn't anyone be fascinated with the surface simplicity of the alphabets they use.
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Postby David Alexander » 06/05/08 12:29 AM

Does anybody have the feeling that we're sitting in the apartment of the characters from "The Big Bang Theory"?

Jon gets to play Sheldon.
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Postby James Kernen » 06/05/08 12:47 AM

but those characters are funny though.......
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 06/05/08 08:23 AM

James Kernen wrote:but those characters are funny though.......


Just part of the belle indifference.

Magician, fool thyself.
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Postby James Kernen » 06/05/08 09:23 AM

Clever and funny, even if at my expense, especially the edit comment....

James
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Postby David Alexander » 06/06/08 12:56 AM

"...belle indifference."

Wasn't she a Disney character?
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 06/06/08 09:02 AM

I suppose that's what Belle's family thought or prayed for when they saw what she was sleeping with... but that's not quite the origin of the term - pretty good though IMHO.
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Postby Great_Pretender » 06/06/08 11:51 AM

I am a powerful conjurer and don't like to see my craft stolen by these so-called scientists. I've seen the Kuhn video, and it makes me angry to see him belittle and reveal how we do our most sacred tricks.

I agree with Jonathan Townsend. Why couldn't Kuhn digitally remove the ball from the video so as not to let the laypeople know what we are doing when we make our balls vanish into thin air? It wouldn't be so bad if he didn't look so smug as he was doing so. In my eyes he is no better than the Masked Magician for revealing our tricks.

I am from Spain.
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Postby David Alexander » 06/06/08 05:38 PM

Unlike you, Pretender, I don't make my balls vanish into thin air. I have other uses for them. At my age, I'm glad they still work.
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Postby Bob Gerdes » 06/17/08 11:13 AM

At the risk of stirring this one up again (and boring some here who aren't interested in this issue)...

I had contacted Dr. Kuhn back when we were having this discussion and invited him to share his thoughts if he wished. He just recently got back to me. Here is his response, posted with his permission:

Dear Bob,
First of all let ma apologize for the delay in getting back to you I was away but my auto reply did not work. Thank you very much for highlighting me to the debate that has been taking place in the magic forum. I read it with great interest and am glad that this issue is being discussed in the magic community. I have been a magician for nearly 20 year and am very passionate about magic. At no time would I ever try to expose magic in order to undermine this wonderful art. In my work I try to use some of the principles used by magicians to investigating visual perception and other areas of cognition. I believe that these principles can be applied and investigated without destroying people's magical experiences. For example, most laymen know that magicians use misdirection, and are fully aware of the fact that magicians will try to manipulate their attention. Knowing that you will be misdirected however, does not make you immune to it. On the contrary, it is usually the people who are trying try to fight misdirection who are more easily deceived. The real power of misdirection lies in the fact that within the context of a magic performance, people can be misdirected even though they are fully aware that they are being mislead.

Whilst scientists can learn much from the principles used in magic, I believe that likewise magicians have plenty to learn from science. For example, there is much research investigating the way in which attention influences our perception, and in particular how failure in attending to certain events prevents us from perceiving them, even when we are directly looking at them. You may be interested in the phenomena of inattentional blindness which has received much scientific interest. For example, it has been shown that if people are engaged in an attentionally demanding task such as counting the number of times a group of people pass a basket ball to each other, most people fail to see a man dressed up in a gorilla suit, even though he is in full view.
You can view the video clip on the following web site (http://viscog.beckman.uiuc.edu/grafs/demos/15.html). Similarly I have been carrying out research on misdirection, investigating some of the reasons why people fail to perceive events that happen in full view. [ Kuhn, G. & Tatler, B. W. Findlay J.M. Cole G. G. (2008). Misdirection in
magic: Implications for the relationship between eye gaze and attention.
Visual Cognition, 16(2-3), 391-405;
http://www.dur.ac.uk/gustav.kuhn/papers ... al2008.pdf . Here we have shown that where people are looking does not predict what they have seen. Please not that we used misdirection without giving away any magical secrets or techniques. None of the participants ever thought that magicians would really be that stupid to drop a cigarette in full view.


Other studies have demonstrated that if you give participants a distractor task that is perceptually different form the to-be-concealed event, people are less likely to see it. For example, in the gorilla illusion, people are less likely to detect the gorilla if they are required to pay attention to the team dressed in white than when counting the balls of the team wearing black (this will only make sense once you have seen the video clip). This finding and many others are directly related to misdirection and I think that the magic community could probably use some of these principles to improve the effectiveness of misdirection. Similarly, magicians could learn much from the phenomena of change blindness in which people often fail to see a change that occurs during a brief interruption of the scene, such as a video edit. An example of this can be seen in the following video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voAntzB7EwE). This effect is directly inspired by the work done by Ron Rensink and Dan Simons on Change blindness. Change blindness demonstrates that people generally fail to spot the difference between objects or even people, a discovery that could be of great importance for tricks that use substitutions. Here is another demonstration of how poor we are at detecting substitutions...
http://viscog.beckman.uiuc.edu/flashmovie/10.php

Regarding the issue of exposure surrounding the vanishing ball illusion, I feel that some of the discussants have somewhat missed the point. The video clip is one stimulus that has been used in a particular study. The trick only makes sense if seen in context of the actual paper. [Kuhn, G.
& Land, M. F. (2006). There's more to magic than meets the eye! Current Biology. 16 (22), R950 http://www.dur.ac.uk/gustav.kuhn/papers ... nd2006.pdf . The point here was not to create a "perfect" magic trick. We used a very simple trick, in which different cues could be manipulated. For example, we manipulated the magician's use of social cues to test the extent to which participants' perception of the event was influenced by where the magician was looking. With regards to exposure, I do not feel that this illusion gives away many magical secrets. For one, the illusion is performed in such a clinical and non-magical context, that people would find difficult to relate this principle to real magic performances.
Interestingly, we have found that discovering how one trick was done has virtually no effect in peoples' abilities to discover a different trick using similar principles. I therefore feel fairly confident that this illusion does not undermine the secrets of magic. Just a quick not, this illusion was first described by a fellow scientist named Norman Tripplet (Triplett, N. (1900). The psychology of conjuring deceptions.
The American Journal of Psychology, 6(4), 439-510), who used it for scientific investigations.

Again, I believe that studying visual perception and illusions can be used by both magicians and scientists can learn from each other. For example have a look at the hollow mask illusion described by Richard Gregory http://www.richardgregory.org/experiments/index.htm
Similarly, there are numerous other illusions that have been developed by scientists that could provide magicians with fantastic effects.
http://illusioncontest.neuralcorrelate. ... AGE_id=150

In sum, as a scientist I believe that magic offers wonderful and unique insights into wide areas of human cognition, which could help understand important aspects of the human mind. I agree that care must be taken to conduct this research without undermining the necessary secrecy of magic. In my own research I have used very basic effects that are performed in an entirely different and specific scientific context and therefore feel that these in no way undermine magic itself. The levels of exposure used in this research are much lower than what can be read in any magic book found in bookstores or online. At the same time I would like to encourage the magic community to utilize some of the scientific findings relating to attention, illusions, memory etc. (real science, not necessarily the scientifically unfounded field of NLP), to further improve their effects and techniques.

I hope that this reply is useful.
Best


And from a second email:
By the way, feel free to post my response on the forum. I'm glad that these issues are being discussed by the magic community, and am very receptive to a wide range of opinions.
Gustav
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 06/17/08 12:31 PM

Dr. Kuhn and I don't disagree about using some of what we know as magicians to set up good experiments. I made my case for picking better stimuli for those experiments earlier.

When we can get from "I do not feel that this illusion gives away many magical secrets" to I do not feel that this illusion give away ANY magical secrets I will be more comfortable. Making excuses about what can be found in off the shelf conjuring books simply does not cut it as most all of conjuring data can be found without even going to a library or bookstore thanks to the internet.

The study of our subjective reality and how it connects to what is in our shared reality is germain to this discussion - and NLP is pretty much where that got a big boost in the 1970s. Agreed about the lack of peer review and well designed studies for NLP items - though science has quite the reputation for ignoring things till politics or economic shifts make them profitable - say meteorites (silly French peasants saying rocks fall from the sky?) or plate techtonics (the guy had to find a place at the bottom of the ocean to verify that theory) or even thought (as if there could be recognizable patterns if fMRI images)... ;)

More science and less exposure please.

BTW you can find some about audience attention back in Robert-Houdin's book in the section on "the eye" and some about how congruent actions can lead to willful misperceptions in his section on gestures. Old news. What's new?
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Postby Tom Stone » 06/17/08 07:54 PM

Jonathan Townsend wrote:http://www.livescience.com/php/video/player.php?video_id=Magic

Seems they've pulled the clip and replaced it with an ad instead.
Did anyone download it?
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 06/17/08 08:08 PM

The PDF describing the study linked here has a pretty good description of what's on the video.

Dr. Kuhn may be up for sending it to you if you ask.
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Postby Bob Gerdes » 06/17/08 08:11 PM

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Postby Tom Stone » 06/17/08 09:34 PM

Thanks! :)
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