How to be a magician

So much of magic is about misdirection, and there’s a related psychological term, “Inattentional blindness“, which basically means people not noticing things because their attention is on something else. Maybe you think your concentration is amazing and you’re immune?! OK, watch this clip and count how many times the players in white pass the basketball:

This selective blindness occurs because some things are more noticeable to us than others. Have you ever heard your name mentioned in a conversation on the other side of a busy room? It’s the ‘cocktail party effect‘ – we’re tuned in to noticing things that are relevant to us, so if something’s not meaningful or very visually striking, we’re less likely to see it.

You’re also more likely to miss what’s right in front of you if you have a lot on your mind, or if you expect something else to be there. This blindness makes for great entertainment from magician’s point of view, but it can be dangerous in situations where full attention is required, such as driving.

If you still think your attention’s great, have a go at this one: Continue reading

The Psychology Game in Movies

Psychological horror is a big interest of mine, I get my kicks from watching movies and playing videogames about Horror; in fact I recently found some time to buzz my way through a PS2 classic I picked up a while ago; a cult classic called Project Zero II. It’s a mind-bender of a game that works on so many levels because the message of spirits, kinship, promise, betrayal and sacrifice is so powerful.

Good horror movies such as Shutter, and the Orphanage also tend to carry a fable-like quality to them. They drum up the level of suspense and mentally invade your comfort zone. I don’t know what makes a great horror movie but I do know that the art of misdirection is a big plus in my books. The ‘knocking noise’ in the Orphanage and the ‘neck pain’ in Shutter are seeded at the start of the movie and called back to for the big reveal.

Ali x

Misdirecting the Truth

We all lie right? The world is made up of truths which are clouded by our own theatrics; I like to see the world as a big blank canvas in which everyone can paint on with their own kind of brush.

It gets to the point where lies can’t really be recognised. Even Exaggerations and Fabrications are types of lies which ever so slightly bend the truth. Well I wouldn’t hold it against us, it is part of our design and how we are all able to get along so marvelously.

The video below shows how easy it can be to manipulate truth using wordplay (3mins) and hide truth from plain sight with misdirection (5mins):

Michael Finney is a master of misdirection. He shows that truths can be indistinguishable from lies if framed correctly.

Ali x