Survey on magic principles

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Alice Pailhes
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Survey on magic principles

Postby Alice Pailhes » August 21st, 2020, 5:24 am

Hi everyone!

I'm a PhD student working on the illusion of free will with forcing techniques.
I'd really like to have your thoughts and opinions on common magic principles, and created a short survey for this (it's on 2 forcing techniques and on magic in general).

It's doesn't take more than 5 to 10min maximum!

Here's the link : https://goldpsych.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/ ... YM5XtZ9kmF

Thank you very much in advance :)

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Re: Survey on magic principles

Postby Tom Moore » August 21st, 2020, 6:05 am

This is a really really badly designed survey that has at it's heart a fundamentally wrong assumption. Unless your survey is a bluff and you're trying to secretly ascertain what percentage of magicians of all genres think card trick performing magicians delude themselves about their audiences perceptions of the performance any results you produce will be worthless.
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Tom Stone
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Re: Survey on magic principles

Postby Tom Stone » August 21st, 2020, 7:07 am

Tom Moore wrote:This is a really really badly designed survey that has at it's heart a fundamentally wrong assumption.

I found no faults with the design.

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Re: Survey on magic principles

Postby Alice Pailhes » August 21st, 2020, 8:53 am

Tom Moore wrote:This is a really really badly designed survey that has at it's heart a fundamentally wrong assumption. Unless your survey is a bluff and you're trying to secretly ascertain what percentage of magicians of all genres think card trick performing magicians delude themselves about their audiences perceptions of the performance any results you produce will be worthless.


Hi Tom,

I'm not sure I understand why you think this survey is badly designed, but if you have any suggestion to improve it you are very welcome to point them out. This is simply a way of getting magicians' thoughts on how spectators feel and how well some techniques work in different situations and compare it to empirical data. There's no bluff involved, as we do not need any and just want your honest opinion!

Cheers
Alice

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Re: Survey on magic principles

Postby Jack Shalom » August 21st, 2020, 9:03 am

A suggestion to improve the survey: include a comments section. Equivoque is an art that includes many subtleties, not just a series of binary decisions. The variables being looked at are not necessarily the most important ones in persuading a spectator that the choice was fair. Because of that, while technique X in isolation may be more effective than technique Y, it may well be that when combined with technique Z that Magician A is adept at, the hit rate is higher with technique Y.

BTW, the Vernon force originally assumed certain cultural assumptions about the 9D. This is not mentioned in the survey.

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Re: Survey on magic principles

Postby Tom Moore » August 21st, 2020, 9:32 am

Firstly - you're asking "magicians" about the application of a force that only a subset of magicians have any real experience with using and not introducing any questions to ascertain whether the person commenting has real world experience or just a vague opinion on the matter.

Secondly you're asking magicians to report about what their spectators are thinking and phrased the question around that. Magicians (like most performers) are the least qualified people to be able to offer actual insights into what spectators actually think or feel during the performance. There's plenty of magicians who think they are performing with the wit and style of Max Maven / Derren brown and who think their audiences assume the magician is actually a cool master of psycology and subtlety when in actual fact the spectator is just playing along and actually thinks the performer is a jerk / mildly entertaining / using "magic" cards to do the trick.

Thirdly all your questions are along the lines of asking magicians what they think / feel the spectator will be feeling about different presentations yet your closing summery states this survey is to get data on magicians views on the factors that influence the success rate of the various forces. Data as to what magicians think affects the effectiveness, what actually affects the effectiveness and what magicians think the spectators think about how effective variations in the presentation are are three totally different things.
Last edited by Tom Moore on August 21st, 2020, 9:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Survey on magic principles

Postby Tom Moore » August 21st, 2020, 9:36 am

Tom Stone wrote:
Tom Moore wrote:This is a really really badly designed survey that has at it's heart a fundamentally wrong assumption.

I found no faults with the design.

Really?

I have used these forces a few times in my life yet there's absolutely no control question to differentiate my experiences with the force from someone who's performing it 20 times a night, 300 nights a year as a jobbing table-hopping magician, nor an amature magican who's a psycology professor who has constructed nuanced routines to improve the effectiveness of the forced. The quality of our relative data is exponentially diverse and a well designed survey should have a mechanism that weights the data submitted accordingly.
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Re: Survey on magic principles

Postby Tom Stone » August 21st, 2020, 12:38 pm

Tom Moore wrote:
Tom Stone wrote:
Tom Moore wrote:This is a really really badly designed survey that has at it's heart a fundamentally wrong assumption.

I found no faults with the design.

Really?

I have used these forces a few times in my life yet there's absolutely no control question to differentiate my experiences with the force from someone who's performing it 20 times a night, 300 nights a year as a jobbing table-hopping magician, nor an amature magican who's a psycology professor who has constructed nuanced routines to improve the effectiveness of the forced. The quality of our relative data is exponentially diverse and a well designed survey should have a mechanism that weights the data submitted accordingly.

Hm... maybe you've made up a different survey than the one that was posted? As I read it, it seemed that the question was about the average magician's general estimation of the effectiveness of these procedures.

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Re: Survey on magic principles

Postby Jack Shalom » August 21st, 2020, 12:49 pm

Tom (Stone), with all due respect, the average magician does equivoque poorly.

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Re: Survey on magic principles

Postby Tom Stone » August 21st, 2020, 1:13 pm

Jack Shalom wrote:Tom (Stone), with all due respect, the average magician does equivoque poorly.

I don't see how that prevent them/us from having a general estimation (accurate or delusional) about it.

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Re: Survey on magic principles

Postby Dave Le Fevre » August 21st, 2020, 1:15 pm

When I got to the bit about equivoque, I stopped. Because equivoque is all about what is said, precisely which words are used, how it is presented.

I can only think of three proprietary effects that I perform that use equivoque, and in each effect the equivoque (as provided by the creators of the effects) is not at all detectable. Maybe your survey takes that into account on a later page - I don't know, because I couldn't get past the first page about equivoque.

By the way, you might like to change constistent to consistent.

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Re: Survey on magic principles

Postby Tom Moore » August 21st, 2020, 2:04 pm

Tom Stone wrote:
Jack Shalom wrote:Tom (Stone), with all due respect, the average magician does equivoque poorly.

I don't see how that prevent them/us from having a general estimation (accurate or delusional) about it.

So card manip acts, box pointing illusionists, rope magicians all have opinions on these two forces completely as valid as people who’ve spent thousands of hours considering or using them?

They’re all valid data points yes but the fact the survey doesn’t control for this is problematic and skews the data so much that I’d argue it makes it worthless.

It’s like having a survey asking opinions about the use of pitch-fixing and vocoders in contemporary r&b then assuming that the opinion of classical opera singers, folk musicians and thrash metal singers are just as informed and valid as r&b singers using these tools day in and out despite having no significant experience or expertise from which to offer an opinion.
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Re: Survey on magic principles

Postby Brad Jeffers » August 21st, 2020, 3:44 pm

So card manip acts, box pointing illusionists, rope magicians all have opinions on these two forces completely as valid as people who’ve spent thousands of hours considering or using them?

With regards to Vernon's Five Card Mental Force ...

If you were to limit the survey participants to only those who have spent thousands of hours performing it, who then would be qualified to give their opinion?

Probably, not even Vernon himself!

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Re: Survey on magic principles

Postby Tom Moore » August 21st, 2020, 4:40 pm

As I said - all data points have some validity but to not include questions that enable you to correct for the difference between those with only a vague experience and those with thousands of hours experience is, by definition, a badly designed survey.
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Re: Survey on magic principles

Postby Tom Stone » August 21st, 2020, 5:43 pm

Tom Moore wrote:
Tom Stone wrote:
Jack Shalom wrote:Tom (Stone), with all due respect, the average magician does equivoque poorly.

I don't see how that prevent them/us from having a general estimation (accurate or delusional) about it.

So card manip acts, box pointing illusionists, rope magicians all have opinions on these two forces completely as valid as people who’ve spent thousands of hours considering or using them?

They’re all valid data points yes but the fact the survey doesn’t control for this is problematic and skews the data so much that I’d argue it makes it worthless.

It’s like having a survey asking opinions about the use of pitch-fixing and vocoders in contemporary r&b then assuming that the opinion of classical opera singers, folk musicians and thrash metal singers are just as informed and valid as r&b singers using these tools day in and out despite having no significant experience or expertise from which to offer an opinion.


No. It is like having a survey asking musicians if they think a certain chord progression is effective in creating a certain mood.

In this alternative survey of yours, how would you ensure that only those you deem qualified would answer? Would you only ask your close friends in the business? There's no formal education, so asking those you don't know personally would require you to trust their own evaluation of their own competence... and is that than really different from asking any person who self-identify as a magician?

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Re: Survey on magic principles

Postby Zig Zagger » August 21st, 2020, 7:36 pm

Alice Pailhes wrote:
Tom Moore wrote:This is a really really badly designed survey that has at it's heart a fundamentally wrong assumption. Unless your survey is a bluff and you're trying to secretly ascertain what percentage of magicians of all genres think card trick performing magicians delude themselves about their audiences perceptions of the performance any results you produce will be worthless.


Hi Tom,

I'm not sure I understand why you think this survey is badly designed, but if you have any suggestion to improve it you are very welcome to point them out. This is simply a way of getting magicians' thoughts on how spectators feel and how well some techniques work in different situations and compare it to empirical data. There's no bluff involved, as we do not need any and just want your honest opinion!

Cheers
Alice

As a professional in this field, I agree that the survey is a bit underwhelming and probably not on the level I would expect from a PhD program. But I'm sure it will serve its purpose. Generally, I applaud all academic efforts to understand the art and craft of deception (or self-deception) better.

The final page of the survey states: "This Survey is investigating magicians' views on the factors that influence the success rate of the Equivoque and Dai Vernon's 5 card forces. We aim at assessing whether performers' intuitions about the forces are correct and will compare the results from this Survey to experiments investigating the influence of different factors influencing the success of the techniques (e.g. repetition of the Equivoque, positions of the cards in Vernon's force)."

As I understand this slightly twisted statement (it's late), the magicians' assessments will be juxtaposed with the experience of spectators in various experimental settings, in other words: intended and expected free will versus perceived free will, which is totally legitimate and rather interesting. I guess most readers here would expect a certain self-delusion bias on the magicians' side (well, I would). So let's see, and let's support this project.

Good luck, Alice, and please come back with questions or results one day!
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Re: Survey on magic principles

Postby Tom Moore » August 22nd, 2020, 4:34 am

Tom Stone wrote:
Tom Moore wrote:
Tom Stone wrote:I don't see how that prevent them/us from having a general estimation (accurate or delusional) about it.

So card manip acts, box pointing illusionists, rope magicians all have opinions on these two forces completely as valid as people who’ve spent thousands of hours considering or using them?

They’re all valid data points yes but the fact the survey doesn’t control for this is problematic and skews the data so much that I’d argue it makes it worthless.

It’s like having a survey asking opinions about the use of pitch-fixing and vocoders in contemporary r&b then assuming that the opinion of classical opera singers, folk musicians and thrash metal singers are just as informed and valid as r&b singers using these tools day in and out despite having no significant experience or expertise from which to offer an opinion.


No. It is like having a survey asking musicians if they think a certain chord progression is effective in creating a certain mood.

In this alternative survey of yours, how would you ensure that only those you deem qualified would answer? Would you only ask your close friends in the business? There's no formal education, so asking those you don't know personally would require you to trust their own evaluation of their own competence... and is that than really different from asking any person who self-identify as a magician?



I keep using the words “control” & “weight” deliberately - you’re the only one talking about excluding and I wish you’d stop taking such deliberately ridiculous positions. A well designed survey harvests lots data but also includes some controls to grade the quality of the data so that appropriate decisions can be made about how much weight is given to different responses.

When conducting a survey about ice cream flavours there’s always a question about how much ice cream you purchase. This survey makes the (common) assumption that all magicians are the same when in reality it should be conducting some basic checks into the quality of the responses given.
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Re: Survey on magic principles

Postby Brad Jeffers » August 22nd, 2020, 2:24 pm

This survey makes the (common) assumption that all magicians are the same when in reality it should be conducting some basic checks into the quality of the responses given.

The survey asks the questions ...

What level of experience do you have as a magician?
Are you member of any formal magic society/club?
Approximately how many years have you been performing magic?

Did you know the Equivoque/Magician's choice force before this survey?
Have you already performed this force?

Did you know Dai Vernon's 5 card force before this survey?
Have you already performed this force?

Don't these qualify as "basic checks into the quality of the responses"?

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Re: Survey on magic principles

Postby Tom Moore » August 22nd, 2020, 3:45 pm

“Have you already performed this force” is a very different question to “how many times have you performed this force?”

According to the question actually asked my submission to that survey i apparently produce data of the same quality as Derren Brown as we have both been in the business for the same amount of time and we have both performed the force. The reality is that my comments and experience with it are very different to his but the survey doesn’t have a mechanism to correct for that imbalance.
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Re: Survey on magic principles

Postby Zig Zagger » August 22nd, 2020, 6:23 pm

I agree that this survey allows at least for some control based, among others, on self-assessed magic experience in general or with the two forces under discussion.

Let's keep in mind that the idea of empirical research like this is to project the collected beliefs or opinions of a small sample of people onto a bigger group, like "magicians" or "magic spectators." If done well, the results of a professional survey will tell us something valid (within statistical boundaries) about "the" group in general, but never (nor does it claim to) about each and every individual within that group, like you, myself, or Derren Brown.

However, a major problem here and in general lies in the self-selection of people deciding to participate in the survey or not. An online survey where links are sent out deliberately and where self-selection of the sample is possible, can and will never be representative, probably not even remotely. So this bias problem is much bigger in regard to the final results than whether some magicians who participated are much more experienced (= "qualified"?) in this or that force.

Besides, as of now it's just a hypothesis (for some) that more experienced magi a) differ in their assessment from magic freshmen and b) are better in assessing the degree of freedom perceived by spectators in a force procedure. Let's wait and see!

I would actually not be surprised to learn that most magicians who chose to participate shared a rather common understanding of which forces would work better than others, independent from their level of experience.

And I would be even less surprised to learn that most magicians were, again independent from their level of experience, overconfident in the innocence of some of the forces (If I recall correctly, some group testiings by Andy from The Jerx or maybe by Joshua Jay seemed to indicate that some time ago) when juxtaposed with the perceptions of the spectators tested.
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Re: Survey on magic principles

Postby Jonathan Townsend » August 22nd, 2020, 6:42 pm

Interesting how the patter options were changed from the script in Hugard's Encyclopedia
I have picked out five cards at random and I want you to mentally select just one. You have an unrestricted choice and must not think that I am trying to influence you in any way. For instance, here is an ace, occupying the central position; you might think of it, and again you may not. Perhaps you think I had a motive in placing just one black card among the cards. This may influence your choice, or again it might not. At any rate look at the five cards carefully, as long as you wish, but rest assured whatever card you definitely decide upon I shall presently place face down upon your hand and, when you yourself are holding the card, I shall ask you to name your card. It will be your card. Even when the card is on your hand you will have the privilege of changing your mind, still the card will be the one thought of.

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Re: Survey on magic principles

Postby Bill Duncan » December 17th, 2020, 12:52 am

I'm just going to leave this here for anyone who finds the subject of free will interesting.

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Re: Survey on magic principles

Postby MagicbyAlfred » December 17th, 2020, 6:48 pm

Bill Duncan wrote:I'm just going to leave this here for anyone who finds the subject of free will interesting.

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It is an interesting subject. Also, interesting that we, as magicians and mentalists, are often engaged in the pursuit of depriving others of their free will without their knowledge, while endeavoring to make them believe they completely exercised their free will.

Gosh, now that I think about it, we're a devious lot...


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