David Britland on magic, attention and deception

Discussions of new films, books, television shows, and media indirectly related to magic and magicians. For example, there may be a book on mnemonics or theatrical technique we should know or at least know about.
Daniel Z
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David Britland on magic, attention and deception

Postby Daniel Z » December 23rd, 2018, 11:01 am

This is from David Britland on medium.com a short essay on what magicians, psychology and attention https://tinyurl.com/ycqx95ve

Bob Farmer
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Re: David Britland on magic, attention and deception

Postby Bob Farmer » December 23rd, 2018, 11:18 am

This is a fantastic article by David and I could watch the Slydini video all day.

Jack Shalom
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Re: David Britland on magic, attention and deception

Postby Jack Shalom » December 25th, 2018, 1:02 am

Without taking anything away from Britland's interesting exploration of attention blindness, the article itself is a prime example of ignoring the gorilla in the room.

There are far far more probable and likely reasons that Conley claimed he didn't see the suspect being beat.

Reasons beyond the scope of discussion in the Genii forum.

Jackpot
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Re: David Britland on magic, attention and deception

Postby Jackpot » December 25th, 2018, 11:52 am

Jack Shalom wrote:Without taking anything away from Britland's interesting exploration of attention blindness, the article itself is a prime example of ignoring the gorilla in the room.

There are far far more probable and likely reasons that Conley claimed he didn't see the suspect being beat.

Reasons beyond the scope of discussion in the Genii forum.


And those reasons are also beyond the scope of Mr. Britland's article, but have been discussed elsewhere. There is enough information in "I Didn’t See a Thing — What Magicians Can Teach Us About the Science of Attention" that if someone is interested he could track down more information about the specific incident involving Conley and the research referenced in the article . No doubt one would find that the "far far more probable and likely reasons" have been taken into account elsewhere. Based on the title, especially the phrase after the dash, this article is not specifically about the incident involving Conley.

The purpose of the article indicates that the gorilla in the room has not been ignored. Rather admiring the gorilla is not what the article is about.
Not the one who created the Potter Index.

Jonathan Townsend
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Re: David Britland on magic, attention and deception

Postby Jonathan Townsend » December 25th, 2018, 5:43 pm

Jack Shalom wrote:Without taking anything away from Britland's interesting exploration of attention blindness, the article itself is a prime example of ignoring the gorilla in the room.
Focus, Jack.
... chased after him, doggedly pursued and eventually captured him.
It should have been a good night’s work......Could someone be so engrossed in a pursuit that they would not notice a fight going on?
Congrats to Dave Britland on the article and its pleasant mention of magicians. And Merry Christmas folks!
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

performer
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Re: David Britland on magic, attention and deception

Postby performer » December 30th, 2018, 2:54 pm

I am glad that David is doing well. I happen to know who was the first magician he had ever set eyes on.
Me.
I do hope he has recovered from the experience.

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Re: David Britland on magic, attention and deception

Postby MagicbyAlfred » December 31st, 2018, 9:56 am

Britland's article and the results of the studies cited in the article are fascinating. There is, however, one huge difference between the "distracting" events and tasks encountered by the test subjects in those studies, versus the situation that confronted the police officer (Conley) who testified he did not perceive or remember the fight that was going on nearby while he was embroiled in an intense struggle with the suspect he had chased down. The difference being that the studies noted in the Britland article did not involve the subjects being placed in a life or death, fight or flight situation.

There are scientific studies indicating that higher levels of adrenaline and cortisol, such as would have been secreted in Conley's body, impair your ability to think, to reason, to concentrate, and/or to remember things. Adrenaline and cortisol levels are high when one is in a dangerous situation. When a person experiences a threat to his/her very survival due to a dangerous, and especially a life-threatening situation, the fight or flight reaction activates the body and the brain parts to be prepared to run or to protect. The brain is completely focused on what to do in order to survive to the exclusion of all else. So, the other parts of the brain that are consuming unnecessary “fuel” must be inhibited to save resources for our primary evolutionary function, which is survival.

In a sense, the life-threatening event is the ultimate "misdirection."

The jury did not believe Officer Conley's testimony that he did not see or remember seeing his fellow officers beating up a man (who turned out to be an undercover cop) in close proximity to where Conley was struggling with the suspect he had chased down. I wonder if the defense had presented expert testimony on this issue? After all, if, as the studies cited by Britland show, that a significant portion of test subjects failed to perceive stimuli such as a gorilla while they were concentrating on something else - something that was not stressful and which surely did not create a fight or flight response in the brain - then, certainly it is exceedingly plausible that Conley failed to perceive and/or remember the fight between the other officers and the undercover cop they mistakenly thought was a criminal and were beating up. I would think that if such evidence had been presented, there would have been more than enough for reasonable doubt and an acquittal of Mr. Conley on the charges of perjury and obstruction of justice.

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Brad Jeffers
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Re: David Britland on magic, attention and deception

Postby Brad Jeffers » December 31st, 2018, 4:30 pm

MagicbyAlfred wrote: ... if such evidence had been presented, there would have been more than enough for reasonable doubt and an acquittal of Mr. Conley on the charges of perjury and obstruction of justice.
Conley was sentenced to 34 months in prison.
After a lengthy process of appeals the charges were eventually dismissed.
Conley who was allowed to remain free during the appeals process, never served a day in prison, and was awarded $647,000 in back pay.


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