Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412972000 | Print ISBN: 9781412940818 | Online ISBN: 9781412972000 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Magic and Perception
Most of us have been wowed by magicians and their ability to conjure up rabbits from hats, vanish doves in mid air, or even to saw ladies in half. For decades, magicians have perfected the art of performing acts that seem to defy logic and reality, leaving audiences baffled and amazed. Although these acts appear almost supernatural, they are created entirely by natural means. The performance of magic requires a method (how the trick works) to achieve an effect (what the spectator sees). Successful magic relies on the spectator experiencing an effect while being unaware of the method. For example, the effect might be the disappearance of a ball. The method involves secretly concealing the ball in the hand while pretending to throw it up in the air. If the magician can produce an effect while preventing the audience from detecting the method, then the audience will experience a People ...