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Old March 4, 2010, 12:33 PM   #7
TailGator
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Join Date: May 8, 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,968
The card trick is largely a case of misdirection; i.e., we are induced to concentrate on the cards and so we miss the other aspects of what we are seeing. This is a staple in "magic" acts, of course, but it is a powerful effect in a lot of situations. For several years, I took part in a musical concert in which we directed the attention of an audience of around 1000 people to one part of an auditorium where an act was being performed, only to redirect their attention in the next moment to a different part of the auditorium to a new act that set up without their noticing it. We could put 40 to 45 acts in a show, do six shows in a row, and I personally did the show for nine years, and the setup of only a handful of the acts would be noticed by audience members, and those only because they involved a large number of people (approaching 100 for some acts) or because something minor went wrong like clanging two music stands together.

I apologize for going on about it, but a valid point is that misdirection can be and is used by those with dishonest intent. Then again, focusing closely on an identified threat has obvious benefits. How does one make decisions about what to focus on, and to what extent? Is there a way to recognize misdirection? How do we train our minds to see the larger picture without losing focus on the identified threat?
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