Which of these cards would you choose? A study of magic tricks reveals that two-thirds choose the exact same card – see if you can thwart a magician
- When facing four cards, most people will choose the third card from the left
- Right-handed people tend to choose the card closest to their hand
- But we have an innate dislike of edges, so it’s preferable to choose from the middle
Not everyone can pull a rabbit out of a hat or discover a coin hidden behind someone’s ear.
But when it comes to card tricks, you don’t have to be a magician to predict which card someone will pick.
Scientists have discovered that when faced with four cards and asked to choose one, most people will choose the third from the left.
You don’t have to be in the magic circle to discover that most of us are just lazy, which means that right-handed people tend to choose the playing card closest to their hand.
Which of these cards would you choose? A magic trick study revealed that two-thirds of us choose the exact same card
Magicians increase eye blinking during moments of deception
A new study reveals that magicians can subconsciously try to make their viewers blink, so they miss the tricky action that might ruin their trick.
This is because they have been found to increase their blinking during these moments, which may encourage their audience to do the same.
Lead author Dr. Anthony Barnhart used to be a professional magician, and was alerted to this blinking trend by other performers.
He and his colleagues at Carthage College in Wisconsin, USA, tested the theory by recording magicians performing a coin trick and noting when they blinked.
They found that the performers increased their blinking during acts of deception, but only when they were in front of the video audience.
And people have an innate dislike of “edges,” so it’s preferable to choose objects from the middle rather than the end of the row.
A scientific study conducted at Goldsmiths University in London asked 60 people to choose a card, any card, out of four options.
Psychologists have proven that two-thirds with their right hand will pick the third card from the left – which happens to be the seven of diamonds.
Dr Gustav Kuhn, first author of the study from Goldsmiths, said: ‘We know from previous research that people are more inclined to choose an object from the middle of the row, and to choose things that are more accessible. Basically, we are completely lazy.
The interesting part is that we are often completely oblivious to the choices we make, mistakenly believing that we are in complete control of our thoughts and actions.
“Most people have no idea that they are likely to pick the third card from the left.”
Previous studies have shown that magicians can lead people to choose a card by observing the direction of their hand, and then surreptitiously shove the chosen card into it.
Another trick is to quickly empty out a deck of cards so that one is visible for a longer time, in which case people tend to subconsciously choose it.
The new study, published in the journal Consciousness and Cognition, suggests that the simplest card tricks can depend on people not wanting to go too far.
Pictured: the percentage of individuals who chose to play cards in the four different positions as a function of the hand they used to make the choice
Researchers from Goldsmiths and Tsinghua University in China asked 60 people between the ages of 18 and 25 to pay one of four playing cards laid out on a table.
If they were picking right at random, only a quarter of people would pick the third card from the left, but in fact 66 percent of right-handers did.
The result is partly explained by people’s aversion to ‘edges’, which means we tend to grab groceries from the center of the supermarket shelf, and when asked to rate our happiness in surveys we rarely say zero or 10 out of 10, but rather choose an average number. .
People’s preference for the third card is simply because this is the “path of least resistance,” because it is the closest.
The people in the study who chose the third card were really oblivious to why, and rated their freedom of choice in decision-making at nine out of 10 on average.
When asked how the trick was performed, some said it must have been “rigged” in some way, while others said it was just a coincidence or the researcher was watching their eyes. People who chose the third card only predicted that 38% of people would make the same choice they had.
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Blink and you will miss it! A secret trick that allows magicians to unwittingly fool their audience has been revealed
Sleight of hand is one of the oldest techniques magicians use to fool their audience, but it looks like they may have another trick up their sleeve to help them fool those who are watching.
The performers have been found to make their audience inadvertently blink at key moments during the show, causing them to miss key actions that can reveal how the illusion takes place.
New research has revealed that the secret behind magicians’ crackling lies in its ability to relax an audience.
She found that this strategy makes those watching lose focus, causing them to blink more often.
This means that while the magician is moving his hands quickly to mask a trick, many people in the audience are actually blinking their eyes, the researchers say.
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