Psychology of Magic

What makes magic work?
There are many factors that make magic work.
Knowing these can help you take advantage of each
This will make your magic stronger and more entertaining.

With the audience

  • They want to believe that it's magic.
  • There is a visual perception of what they believe they saw.
  • Our minds tend to "fill in the blanks" - What they don't see, they invent.

With the trick:

  • It's an optical illusion
  • It has a surprise ending
  • It's diabolically clever
  • Misdirection at just the right moment allows you to do your "move" without the audience seeing it.

You - the Magician:

  • There are your movements
  • There is your patter
  • You can create the perfectly timed misdirection
  • There is the image presented by you
  • There is your reputation
The setting:

  • There is the setting (stage/props/etc)
  • There is the lighting
  • The music can add to the illusion and entertainment factor

From a scientific point of view -

The human eye is only capable of processing 12 frames a second.
That suggests that anything that takes less than 1/12 of a second is probably not seen.
The mind tends to fill in the "blanks" - with what it suspects has happened during that time.

Did you know that an incandescent light bulb actually flickers on and off 60 times a second when it is turned ON. We don't see the flicker - we only see that the light is ON.  So - the human mind has made up for the "Off" cycles by only being concerned with the "On" cycles. 

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