The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » A few thoughts on how to improve success rate with suggestion. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Smoking Camel
View Profile
Inner circle
UK
1039 Posts

Profile of Smoking Camel
Just finished read this article:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20727761.500

1. The crux of the article is that 80% of our mental experience is verbal of which 70% is internal.
2. Words prime our perceptions (c.f dot experiment in the article)

Take the effect of a ring getting hot in a spectators hand. (building blocks) We use the words heat/warm/hot in presentation to effectively prime their perception of the ring when they hold it. If they feel the ring as hot then our words have been successful in priming their perception.

However what then of when it fails? when they don't feel any heat?

I think that when they don't feel the ring as hot it is because their own internal words have primed the mind other wise. Their internal dialogue has over ridden our words.

As a crude example:

we want the spectator to be primed for heat - their mind is priming them for cold. Which way their perception is eventually shaped is by which word (or pattern of neurones firing) wins the battle and is given more weight in their mind. If more neurone associations are firing that are related to heat then that will prime their perceptions.

So - 2 things - how do we make sure more heat neurones are firing and how do we ensure that their own internal dialogue which will effect our suggestions is effectively switched off?

Switching of their dialogue may be a case of getting them to relax internally (a la hypnotists before they start their routines with inductions) and making sure they accept our words as true. - this seems to echo all of the pointers made in the literature regarding successful suggestion - getting them relaxed means they switch of their own internal dialogue which means when our words fire up neurone patterns in their brain they are given an overriding weight when thoughts are brought into streaming consciousness.

With regards to successful suggestion the first way to make sure it is successful is by the recommended way of repetition - repeating the suggestions means that the neurone patterns associated with heat will repeatedly fire making the connections stronger.

The 2nd way is to make associations during a suggestion sequence. the more neurones that are firing the better (the larger the pattern of firing neurones the stronger the thought will be)

So if we are tying to make the ring feel hot - instead of repeating to them to words hot/warm etc start building in association suggestions - e.g..

1. imagine you have place your hand on the shiny metal surface of a kettle - hear the water start to boil and as the steam rises out of the spout you can feel the surface becoming hotter and hotter.

This associating will make more neurones fire in their brain as it involves a lot more associations that have to be located. Therefore it is more likely that they will feel the hot -

I think this is true of the shadow convincer in building blocks - the mind associates the shadow moving up the arm with the desired sensation and thus more neurones fire and link together. However because people don't often associate shadows with suggestions in the context we are using it may be quite weak as the connections between the ideas are being formed for the first time.

So... Routines involving suggestion can be made more successful by

1) Switching off their internal dialogue.
2) repetition.
3) associate suggestions with other ideas.

Any body got anything else to add that may be useful?
I no longer smoke camel cigarettes.
ThePhilosopher
View Profile
Regular user
Menlo Park, CA
122 Posts

Profile of ThePhilosopher
Thank you Smoking Camel; this is excellent information and food for thought!

I almost didn't want to add a comment because of the power behind this idea. This is one of those nuggets of gold that could have been hidden beneath the thousands of other threads here. I imagine that the pros will instantly see its value, but the rest will glance over it and not know what it means or how to take advantage of it. The applications are far beyond what was mentioned in the above post.

One of my fundamental principles is "always have the audience on your side." You never want to create an antagonistic relationship with the audience. It is very common for many of us to feel the need to flex our magic muscles (especially for teenagers just after leaving the magic shop with wallet empty--yet again). The performer's strong ego and desire to "kill" sets himself against the audience.

What does this have to do with the previous post? The attitude of antagonism negatively disposes the audiences interior dialogue. If they are against you, then their mind is closed and they are only looking for a solution. It doesn't matter if they find the real solution--in their minds any explanation will do. Perhaps a magician is satisfied as long as everyone claps and no one yells, "he palmed it!" A mentalist cannot. The real power of mentalism is not in the props and what is seen, because the real effect happens in the minds of the spectators.

Yes, I proved I knew something ahead of time. Yes, I also showed that I did not do X and Y. And yes, the spectator may not know anything about my imp d, but if there is an relationship of me vs. them, their internal dialogue will be against me. I will create a puzzle and nothing more. It may be unintentional, but the damage is done, and the audience's mindset is changed. There will be no wonder; there will be no suspension of disbelief. Mentalism without authenticity at least on some level is--at least so I believe--a magician who has a very small variety of trick.
- Nathan
kissdadookie
View Profile
Inner circle
4100 Posts

Profile of kissdadookie
My approach to making the Hot Ring effect 100% has been much simpler than that. What I've realized when first starting out with it (I used it for coins, bent or sometimes just plain coins, this was long before Skin was ever released) that pretty much every person would drop the coin at the end. It comes down to a couple of factors which is how convincing you are and your patience. I've had people that did not drop the coin/object for a good 2 minutes or so. The key is to push them along but do not change your pacing and appear overtly impatient with the person. There's also a key ingredient to this way before you even get into such an effect and that is to judge how well the person follows directions. Here's my technical process:

1) Give simple directions and see how well they respond and follow the instructions (it could be something as simple as having them sit up or stand up straight, having them take a large breath in, hold it, and large breath out, etc.).

2) Go into a "suggest-ability exercise/test" such as magnetic fingers, magnetic hands (this is probably by far my favourite), heavy and light hands, stiff arm, arm and hand lock, etc.

3) Proceed with the routine and scripting as written in Building Blocks.

Items 1 and 2 will assure that you have a spectator which something like Hot Ring is pretty much guaranteed to work. Step 3, the actual routine, it really comes down to how patient and convincing you are. It helps a lot if you imagine everything yourself as you direct the person. Again, I emphasize, patience. Your pacing needs to be on point and you must not stray too far from the suggest patter since MANY of the wording is there for a purpose, the most important part of the wording is that of which instills a doubt and uncertainty in the spectator's mind. They know something is going to happen because you SAY something is going to happen, but it's just vague enough that any small change in their sensory perception will be associated to what you SAY will happen (emphasis on SAY because you can't present it as something that MIGHT happen, you need to present it as something that WILL happen, you need to be in an authoritative position).

Whilst I like Smoking Camels idea, I personally feel that it's more powerful and more likely to work better when you have a spectator that you can judge follows directions quite well and that you have instilled "fear" (for lack of a better word) and doubt in. The idea is very similar to most people's experience in a haunted house. Think about it, what do most haunted houses consist of? Absolutely pitch darkness, the fear is self generated in ones mind. Also, long expositions and idea association may not work that well for many people because some people are just not that good at using their imagination (which step 2 and the magnetic hands assures you that you have a person that will use their imagination very well).
alemanzano
View Profile
New user
94 Posts

Profile of alemanzano
That's indeed a great thread here.

It made me think on a particular idea I would like to ask you, guys: the audience's reference. Smoking Camel successfully pointed to the association process and it's
conflict when there's no reference on the spectator's view. If the connection is made for the first time, it weakens the suggestion you want to create.

On a second thought, although the negative approach from the mentalist side, putting the audience against him, creates the inner dialogue and disposal to contest the suggestion on the part of the spectator, could that first example, the heat sensation didn't working, happen because of a different reference?

What I mean is take pain, for example. It could be relative from person to person. One could feel a lot of pain from something that another would only feel unconfortable, or nothing at all. Maybe heat is relative as well, and the association for the suggestion is formed in another way, depending on the spectator.

Well, that's something I started thinking after reading your ideas. I don't know if that would be the case, but would it make sense? What do you guys think?

Ale
kissdadookie
View Profile
Inner circle
4100 Posts

Profile of kissdadookie
Ale, you hit upon a good point and it comes back to my point that not every person you come across will be good and imagining/thinking about associations because it is indeed very relative and depends upon the individual. Also making the association that something is warm or hot and giving the person a clear mental image of the kind of heat you want them to feel is a potential conflict with succeeding in the suggestion because some people may NOT want to experience such a sensation. This is why the scripting in Building Blocks partially uses fear and doubt which is formed in the mind of the spectator without the performer being quite literal and direct with instilling such mental perceptions in the spectator's mind.

The idea as written in the book is to instill doubt and "fear," especially for the last phase (the object becoming hot and having the spectator drop the object). Since this is not a full blown demonstration of hypnosis, a success is when the spectator drops the object. It could be just the slightest tingle or it could be a genuinely burning sensation, as long as they drop the object, that is all one needs the spectator to do. The rest of the audience does NOT know the exact level of heat the spectator is experiencing, they just need to see the spectator drop the object to confirm it. Remember, the goal is not to absolutely positively get a confirmation from the spectator that the object has become truly too hot to hold, the goal is to make sure they drop the object as soon as they feel anything. Giving descriptions that are too clearly defined may very likely work AGAINST you because either the person you are using a) does not want to feel such a sensation or b) they are simply not that good with forming imagined ideas in their minds.
danroberts
View Profile
New user
Northern Ireland
57 Posts

Profile of danroberts
What I find works for me when performing suggestion based routines is building rapport using sure fire routines, get the audience believing in what I am performing then usually I can tell who will be great at the suggestion based routines.

People who I usually work with is the ones that reaction great to what I do, I don't want to be rude or anything, what I have notice is females are great for these routines.

That what works for me, everyone is different

Cheers
kissdadookie
View Profile
Inner circle
4100 Posts

Profile of kissdadookie
Good observation on the females bit. I am sure that they have excellent reactions to such routines. Rapport is also very important and one way to go about it is certainly to perform other routines prior to the suggestions material.

The process I've used and described came about from going into it cold. Total strangers and this would be the first routine and often times the only routine I perform for them. To me, if the person is open and receptive after you've greeted them and introduced yourself, you're good to go and the only thing you need to do is assure that they follow directions and are "suggest-able" (i.e., they are quite capable of forming the mental imagery and following through with it, thus magnetic hands as well as heavy and light hands are my favourite bits to use to test them).
Smoking Camel
View Profile
Inner circle
UK
1039 Posts

Profile of Smoking Camel
Quote:
On 2010-09-07 14:06, alemanzano wrote:
That's indeed a great thread here.

It made me think on a particular idea I would like to ask you, guys: the audience's reference. Smoking Camel successfully pointed to the association process and it's
conflict when there's no reference on the spectator's view. If the connection is made for the first time, it weakens the suggestion you want to create.

On a second thought, although the negative approach from the mentalist side, putting the audience against him, creates the inner dialogue and disposal to contest the suggestion on the part of the spectator, could that first example, the heat sensation didn't working, happen because of a different reference?

What I mean is take pain, for example. It could be relative from person to person. One could feel a lot of pain from something that another would only feel uncomfortable, or nothing at all. Maybe heat is relative as well, and the association for the suggestion is formed in another way, depending on the spectator.

Well, that's something I started thinking after reading your ideas. I don't know if that would be the case, but would it make sense? What do you guys think?

Ale


This is interesting. The audience viewing is going to associate your performance with certain ideas that they already have - fitting your performance into something that is meaningful for them.

Now most of subscribe to the annemann rule of "what would a real mind reader do?" when building our routines.

Everybody's idea of a real mind reader is going to be very very different - so what happens if your present mentalism that does not fit in with the audience point of reference?

Will they create new associations or will their old ones override and your premise effectively be rejected and your show - no matter how great be reduced to a bunch of tricks to be figured out.

I think Luke Jermay answers this well in his coral fang book. there is an essay in which he details how he will refer to both psychic and psychology in a very unspecified way as the method behind certain things - which effectively means that the majority of the audience will have a point of reference to associate the performance to. Bill Cushman also has a nice gambit in suggest abilities which pretty much covers every single reference point regarding psychic/psychological/occult etc.

Perhaps this is why when we present a mind reading effect as body language some audience members reject the premise and still look for the method - because to them it has not fit in with any association (or set of neural patterns already formed) - maybe the plot needed to be a little more unspecified and open to allow them to associate the routine with a set of pre-exisiting neural patterns. so for some it will be body language others will base it on rapport and others will base it on telepathy.
I no longer smoke camel cigarettes.
kissdadookie
View Profile
Inner circle
4100 Posts

Profile of kissdadookie
For the intent and purpose of the Hot Ring though, the association does not need to be made in the way you have proposed though Camel. The goal at the end is to have the spectator drop the object. Now, unless you're going with a full blown hypnotic phenomenon here (in which, something like the Hot Ring really ends up being a teaser bit for heavier material such as amnesia or hallucinations), it would be unwise to go into such detailed imagery for the spectator you are using for Hot Ring because again, not everyone is as imaginative and thus the association with feelings and sensations in such great detail may very well have an adverse impact on the effect being successful.

Now, this does not invalidate your point in appeasing to the internal model of what you are as a performer to your audience but that is a completely separate issue which is not really applicable to the topic at hand, which is, getting a 100% success rate with a pure suggestion routine such as Hot Ring.

This does not mean that the association angle which you have presented would not be suitable for other suggestion routines because I can think of a few where it would improve and increase the success of the routine but for Hot Ring, I don't see it being a benefit. Particularly when the image you are suggesting is one of which some or many may associate with being painful and unpleasant (the key to Hot Ring is selling them on the idea via doubt and uncertainty, if it's clear to them that the object is to turn hot, they may very well not want to follow along because they do not wish to be burned, or they may view it as a challenge situation since you have clearly defined what they are supposed to be feeling and thus if they don't reach that sensation, their own mental model of what that sensation feels like, then it's not going to work).

Back to the original point of Hot Ring though, I have not had a person NOT drop the ring after I worked the kinks out of my pacing and patter along with the precautions I've taken to assure that I have a qualified spectator which it will work on. For the spectator, they have a wide response to how the object felt, I've had people feel just a slight tingle, a sudden increase in warmth, all the way to a person dropping her ring then blowing on her hand and refusing to take her ring back because she truly believed that it had turned burning hot. For the onlookers though, they completely believe and understand that something very intense and amazing has happened because the spectator drops the object. It really doesn't matter if the audience is trying to figure out the methodology for something like Hot Ring because let's face the truth, there's always bound to be a few who will rack their brains for methods, no way around that, the good thing is that what they see is indeed what they get thus you are clean as a whistle AND the best part is that you have the gratification that you've just done something as close to the real thing as possible. A little goes a long way Smile
Decomposed
View Profile
Eternal Order
High Desert
12020 Posts

Profile of Decomposed
Where is mindpunisher???
kissdadookie
View Profile
Inner circle
4100 Posts

Profile of kissdadookie
Why do we need mindpunisher here again?
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » A few thoughts on how to improve success rate with suggestion. (0 Likes)
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2021 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.26 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL