Monday, November 29, 2010

Psychologists should give prestidigitators their due.

The misdirected quest - Vol. 23, Part 12 ( December 2010):
What history also shows is that experimental methods do not compensate for a superficial understanding of an enormous range of situational practices, and that even the most up-to-date technology does not necessarily provide better knowledge in matters of complex human interaction. After all, so far as psychology is about understanding and predicting human behaviour, the experienced magician can demonstrate his or her ability to do so regularly (with a replication rate most psychologists would envy), and to do so in the real world. Magicians have been able to do this for centuries, but how they have done this has changed according to the way in which people think and behave at different times and in different places. Psychologists can indeed learn from magic, but it is magicians who understand the real secrets.
Paging Derren Brown ...

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