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Can Magic Deception Be Detected at an Unconscious Level?

Abstract

Magicians present magic tricks that seem to defy the laws of nature, entertaining us by manipulating our attention, perception, and awareness. However, although we are unaware of these manipulations at the level of conscious experience, we may still be aware of them at an unconscious level. We examined whether people can detect a magic deception outside of conscious awareness using an indirect measure. In the present study, we used the Cups and Balls magic trick, which is the transposition of balls between two cups. Participants viewed a video of the magic performance and were required to indicate the position of the ball in a direct self-report measure and completed the Single Category Implicit Association Test as an indirect measure. The results showed that the indirect measure of trick detection had higher accuracy than the direct measure. Our results suggest that while humans cannot consciously detect the magic deception, they do have a sense of what occurred on an unconscious level.

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  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    Department of Psychology, New York University, NY, USA. Faculty of Human Sciences, Shimane University, Japan.

    Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Japan. Matsue Medical Center, Japan.

    Source

    Perception 46:6 2017 Jun pg 698-708

    MeSH

    Adolescent
    Adult
    Attention
    Awareness
    Deception
    Female
    Humans
    Magic
    Male
    Unconscious (Psychology)
    Visual Perception
    Young Adult

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    27956581

    Citation

    TY - JOUR T1 - Can Magic Deception Be Detected at an Unconscious Level? AU - Kawakami,Naoaki, AU - Miura,Emi, Y1 - 2016/12/11/ PY - 2016/12/14/pubmed PY - 2018/8/16/medline PY - 2016/12/14/entrez KW - Cups and Balls KW - implicit association test KW - implicit measure KW - magic trick KW - unconscious processes SP - 698 EP - 708 JF - Perception JO - Perception VL - 46 IS - 6 N2 - Magicians present magic tricks that seem to defy the laws of nature, entertaining us by manipulating our attention, perception, and awareness. However, although we are unaware of these manipulations at the level of conscious experience, we may still be aware of them at an unconscious level. We examined whether people can detect a magic deception outside of conscious awareness using an indirect measure. In the present study, we used the Cups and Balls magic trick, which is the transposition of balls between two cups. Participants viewed a video of the magic performance and were required to indicate the position of the ball in a direct self-report measure and completed the Single Category Implicit Association Test as an indirect measure. The results showed that the indirect measure of trick detection had higher accuracy than the direct measure. Our results suggest that while humans cannot consciously detect the magic deception, they do have a sense of what occurred on an unconscious level. SN - 1468-4233 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/27956581/Can_Magic_Deception_Be_Detected_at_an_Unconscious_Level L2 - http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0301006616682513?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub=pubmed ER -