Introspection: “Choosing in Freedom or Forced to Choose? Introspective Blindness to Psychological Forcing in Stage Magic”

This article is about whether or not when it comes to magic tricks if people really have the choice in acts such as choosing a card from a deck of cards or the magician unknowingly to the participant forces them to choose the card they want them to. There were two experiments done. The first one a group of 31 were involved in the experiment of “classical forcing” and “visual forcing.” People in this group were shown magic tricks by a magician and after the trick was done they would rate on a scale of 0 (feeling manipulated to make a choice) to 10 (feeling like they made their own choice). The second experiment a group of 20 people were involved in the experiment of “visual forcing.” These people were shown a card magic trick by a magician and the magician would slightly force out a card, showing it for a longer period of time and then let the participants choose a card.The result of the first experiment where the magician used both forcing procedures of classical forcing and visual forcing during the tricks and had the participants being asked if they felt they were forced to choose cards, concluded that in this experiment the belief of being forced to make a decision did not change whether or not they were actually being forced or the choice they made was due to other circumstances. The result of the second experiment were that some people believed they were being forced when they were not and some people thought they were making their own choice when they were actually being forced. The researchers concluded that what magicians know is true, which is that some people may be susceptible or gullible to being tricked into thinking they are making their own choices in regards to magic tricks because they are not able to notice that they are being forced to make that choice.

Shalom, D. E. , Serro, M. G. , Giaconia, M. , Martinez, L. M. , Rieznik, A. , Sigman, M. (2013) Choosing in Freedom or Forced to Choose? Introspective Blindness to Psychological Forcing in Stage-Magic. PLoS ONE 8(3): e58254. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0058254