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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » The sense of being stared at (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Ross
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Bristol
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Hello all,

I'm reading a book at the moment by a doctor who is doing serious
research into telepathy. The title is "The sense of being stared at"
and I would recomend it to anyone interested in this area. One area
it covers is the sense some people have when someone is looking at
them from behind, or some other direction, and then they turn and
face the looker. The author presents this as an ability we all have
to some degree. Has anyone every tried this in their performances? I
happen to be convinced by the arguments surrounding these types of
senses (and have been for years) and I am beginning to explore the
possibility of encorporating real telepathy into my performances.

Another example is testing people with ESP cards and regular playing
cards. With ESP cards, for example, the subject will have 1 in 5
chance of getting a guess right. Try this on some people. I bet they
score higher than chance would allow (do it more than 5 time though,
like 100 or something). Whilst getting say 7/25 may not seems as
miraculous as we would like our performances to be, it could make
for a very clean and essentialy (literally) real demonstration of
telepathy. Thoughts?
entity
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Canada
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Getting 7 out of 25 hits would put the average audience to sleep. Audiences are not much interested in odds or percentages, unless it is very much apparent that an outcome is OVERWHELMINGLY against chance. Audiences want to see something remarkable for their money, not something that's just above average.

If you perfect your "real telepathy" performance, I'd suggest you take Randi up on his Million dollar challenge, rather than waste your time doing shows.

Lots of luck.

- entity
jimtron
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Anyone who wants to test the "sense of being stared at" could do so at home.

Sit down with your back to a friend. Have him or her sit in a chair about 10 feet behind you. It's probably best if you're blindfolded, just in case you can see your friend refelected in a mirror or window or with your peripheral vison. Tell your friend to say "begin," wait 30 seconds, and then "done." During this 30 seconds (or minute or whatever; but keep it consistent), your friend will be either staring at you or looking away completely. Do this at least 10 times and see if your hits are better than chance (which I guess would be 50% hits).

Quote:
Whilst getting say 7/25 may not seems as
miraculous as we would like our performances to be, it could make
for a very clean and essentialy (literally) real demonstration of
telepathy. Thoughts?


5 out of 25 would be chance, right? So 7 out of 25 wouldn't impress me too much. Of course chance is going to vary; it's not always going to be exactly 5 out of 25.

Ross, you mentioned "real telepathy." What do you think is the minimum rate of accuracy for someone who is truly telepathic? Let's say I put a face down ESP card in front of a person who is telepathic. They use their telepathy skills to determine which card is in front of them. Let's say we do this 50 times. In your opinion, what is the minimum amount of hits that a telepathic person would get? Random chance would be 10 (20%), I believe.

-Jim
Mike Baxter
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Try this . . .

When your pet (dog?) is ostensibly 'asleep', try to creep up as silently as possible to touch them. When you are a short distance away they will invariably open one eye and acknowledge that they know of your presence.

However, if you try the same silent creeping another time but this time think of anything other than touching them, often you will actually startle your pet when you do actually touch them.

Assuming that you are maintaining the same level of silence on each occasion, could it be that they are actually picking up your thoughts -- or do you produce a special scent in the first occasion when you are concentrating on creeping up on them -- or ????
Steve Haynes
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I think it is good to mention such things,before you start a mental effect,as everyone has had this happen.
It should put them in the right frame of mind to suspend there disbelief.
Or prove there belief.
jimtron
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Quote:
Assuming that you are maintaining the same level of silence on each occasion, could it be that they are actually picking up your thoughts -- or do you produce a special scent in the first occasion when you are concentrating on creeping up on them -- or ????


I wouldn't completely rule out the idea that the pet is picking up your thoughts, but it seems much more likely that they can smell you or hear you or feel the floor slightly vibrating or something similar. If you're a curious person like me, you could try some tests.
Carlos the Great
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Most definately try some tests but please remember that these ideas have been around for years and years and years and there are theories (just like the theory of gravity). If any of you really believe in mental powers, there is the Randi challenge, which is actually a well-thought out, scientifically sound test (for example, participants are not allowed to set the rules, for example). I am not nor have I ever been a member of the JREF but all these things have been shown not to be related to "psychic" powers, so maybe do a bit more research?

-Carlos
Cognite tute
NJJ
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Thoughts I would take into account when think about thing...

1) Claiming real telepathy but combining it with fake telepathy will annoy many audience members and many mentalists/magicians. (some won't care)

2) What percentage of the time is someone watching you?

3) What senses, other then sight, can alert you to someone's presence?

4) To make this a performable skill you would need to be able to do it 90% of the time. (some entertainers would say %100.)
Doctor Whoston
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Quote: "I'm reading a book at the moment by a doctor who is doing serious
research into telepathy. The title is "The sense of being stared at" "

Unfortunately, this "doctor" is not doing serious research. He has been peddling dodgy books for as long as I can remember. Nothing he ever does is replicted by other real scientists.
He appeared on UK TV the other day (on a programme about psychics, see other threads) claiming pets have special "psychic" senses. This is of course nonsense...

Don't waste your time on it - you will be better off practising your tricks!
DW
nimrod
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http://www.csicop.org/si/9505/belief.html

our biggest mistake is that we trust ourselvs.
Svengali
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Ross
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Quite a few sceptic out there I see. Ah well I suppose being a magician can do that to people. We always look for ways that 'psyhic' phenomena can be replicated by other means, which makes us good people to research fraudulent claims but maybe shuts us of to the possibilities in this area. A few point I absolutely have to reply to:

"all these things have been shown not to be related to "psychic" powers, so maybe do a bit more research?"
-Carlos

What utter poppycock! All seemingly psychic phenomena certainly has not been 'shown'to be false.

"Unfortunately, this "doctor" is not doing serious research. He has been peddling dodgy books for as long as I can remember. Nothing he ever does is replicted by other real scientists.
He appeared on UK TV the other day (on a programme about psychics, see other threads) claiming pets have special "psychic" senses. This is of course nonsense..."

The fact that this research area is ignored by other researchers is documented in his book. The whole area is a taboo within orthodox science, as are many areas of research that go against current thinking. Statements like "this is of course nonsense" are not scientific and are a perfect example of the ingrained, closed minded thinking prevailant among so many people today.

But granted, the demonstrations given in my original post would not make compelling entertainment.
bobser
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Quote:
On 2005-12-05 22:32, Mike Baxter wrote:
Try this . . .

When your pet (dog?) is ostensibly 'asleep', try to creep up as silently as possible to touch them. When you are a short distance away they will invariably open one eye and acknowledge that they know of your presence.

However, if you try the same silent creeping another time but this time think of anything other than touching them, often you will actually startle your pet when you do actually touch them.

Assuming that you are maintaining the same level of silence on each occasion, could it be that they are actually picking up your thoughts -- or do you produce a special scent in the first occasion when you are concentrating on creeping up on them -- or ????


I've been in a bad mood all today today. But Mike I just want to thank you for making me laugh out aloud. My guess is that you are locked up somewhere and probably it's for your own good. Any, if I could I would definitaly visit you...and bring the kids also.
God bless you Captain Creeper.

Bobser.
Bob Burns is the creator of The Swan.
100ch
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Sheffield UK
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Quote:
On 2005-12-05 17:14, Ross wrote:
Hello all,

I'm reading a book at the moment by a doctor who is doing serious
research into telepathy. The title is "The sense of being stared at"
and I would recomend it to anyone interested in this area. One area
it covers is the sense some people have when someone is looking at
them from behind, or some other direction, and then they turn and
face the looker. The author presents this as an ability we all have
to some degree. Has anyone every tried this in their performances? I
happen to be convinced by the arguments surrounding these types of
senses (and have been for years) and I am beginning to explore the
possibility of encorporating real telepathy into my performances.




when people ask me how they can do similiar things, I ask them to try this and begin to train their minds
ddyment
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Gibsons, BC, Canada
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Lots of people truly believe that they can sense when they are being watched. They manage to convince themselves by conducting their own very unscientific "tests". Whenever they feel themselves the target of someone's attention, they turn and check to see if they are being observed, and sure enough, someone is looking at them!

Telepathy? Precognition? Sheldrakeism? Perhaps, or maybe just the fact that (as magicians well know) motion is a strong attractor of attention, and the "turning to check" action may well be what is causing the effect.

Regardless, I heartily agree with "cardman036"; this sort of thing makes for terrific introductory remarks (sans the explanation, of course!).
Doug Dyment's Deceptionary :: Elegant, Literate, Contemporary Mentalism ... and More
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