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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Hardest people to FOOL? (14 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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ihave
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ocala,fl
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Who are the hardest people to fool? Those with high iq's? Highly educated people? Kids? OF note, I had an 80 year old going senile, who instantly knew how I did a trick, which amazed me.
funsway
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old things in new ways - new things in old ways
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Methinks that if "fooling people" is a measure of performance magic there is something wrong with either the presentation or choice of effect for a particular audience. People like to be amazed and astonished -- and even to find a challenging puzzle. No one likes to be "fooled." It is easy to fool anybody -- just run for public office.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



ShareBooks at www.eversway.com * questions at funsway@eversway.com
Dick Oslund
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Amazed YOU? --Obviously, it didn't amaze him!!!

"Fool" them--but, don't make fools of them!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
BrianMillerMagic
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Funsway: he didn't say fooling people is the measure or even a measure of performing magic. He just asked who is hardest to fool.

In my experience, kids are the hardest to fool. Now admittedly I'm not a kids magician. I've never done a legitimate kids show in my life, but I do have to entertain them for a few minutes at restaurants and family friendly affairs. Perhaps their imaginations are so fertile that they are able to consider crazy possibilities for how something might be done, and thus sometimes guess correctly, in spite of the magician's technique or presentation. Adults, on the other hand, rule so many things out just because of their existing knowledge base that it's harder to imagine how a trick might work.

Accordingly, I find extremely intelligent people the easiest to fool, probably because they really think they know stuff. The more you're convinced you know, the harder it is to imagine that there's something you don't. Especially when it seems like it should be so simple.
DWRackley
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I agree with Brian; It’s kids, hands down! If you think about the things that make magic “work”, we’re usually saying one thing while doing another. We count on them looking one place while the “action” is happening somewhere else. We use ASSUMPTIONS, where people believe they’re seeing something familiar, while what they’re seeing isn’t really what they’re accustomed to.

Kids have no previous assumptions. They need to examine everything. Their eyes are everywhere (as are their hands if you’re not careful!)

One example, if you “casually” turn a can upside down, the adult will assume, since nothing fell out, that the can is empty. A child needs to actually SEE the inside of the can, and even that may not be enough. They may need to actually reach inside the can to believe it’s empty.

Folks who perform Children’s Magic (IF they do it well) have my sincere respect!
...what if I could read your mind?

Chattanooga's Premier Mentalist

Donatelli and Company at ChattanoogaPerformers.com

also on FaceBook
MGordonB
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This may be obvious, but people who don't like being fooled.
For example, my best friend John, likes magic but doesn't like being taken in. When I do routines in his presence he intently watches my hands. He's good about not tripping me up during a routine and gives me great feedback on flashes etc. after I'm done.
PeterSteele111
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I generally find the easier the trick the harder it is to figure out for most people. I wouldn't say it fools them but most people over think even the simplest effects such as broke and restored match stick. I wouldn't say that there are specific groups per say, but I have a lot of kids that can figure out a trick a lot faster than most adults because they don't know any better. I run 7 magic shops and perform all the time for kids as they are my main audeince and I have to constantly crowd control them because little light bulbs go off in thier heads for instance with delights and they immediately want to call you out on it. They figure things out so much faster than adults do. To them it is common sense the way something might work as for an adult they tend to over analyze and come to wild conjuctures. Just my two sense. I agree though never try to "fool" someone just have fun and make it fun for them too.
latentimage
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Quote:
On Apr 14, 2014, BrianMillerMagic wrote:

In my experience, kids are the hardest to fool. Now admittedly I'm not a kids magician. I've never done a legitimate kids show in my life, but I do have to entertain them for a few minutes at restaurants and family friendly affairs. Perhaps their imaginations are so fertile that they are able to consider crazy possibilities for how something might be done, and thus sometimes guess correctly, in spite of the magician's technique or presentation. Adults, on the other hand, rule so many things out just because of their existing knowledge base that it's harder to imagine how a trick might work.


This is spot on. I agree that kids are the hardest to fool. Magic generally relies on people accepting that they know what is supposed to happen as a result of a certain action. When a quarter is in your right hand and you move the right hand over your left in a dumping motion, adults don't even have to stop and consider what was supposed to have happened there. Their minds are conditioned to accept these things subconsciously. Kids haven't been around as long, and have not yet learned to accept things as "given".
"Come to the edge," he said, They Said "We Are Afraid," "Come to the edge," he said, They Came, He Pushed Them...And They Flew. -Apollinaire

"If there be a skeptical star, I was born under it. Yet I have lived all my days in complete astonishment." -W. MacNeile Dixon
bowers
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I think higher IQ one's are easier to stump.
People with good-old common sense are the hardest
to fool in my opinion.
Todd
ihave
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ocala,fl
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Does this count as anything, when I pretend to throw a ball, and my dog thinks I really threw it but I didn't? LOL
SDMoore1
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Quote:
On Apr 14, 2014, bowers wrote:
I think higher IQ one's are easier to stump.
People with good-old common sense are the hardest
to fool in my opinion.
Todd


I sometimes wonder if there's a bit of left-brained/right-brained element to all this.

Engineer vs. Artist
Scientist vs. Historian
Ado
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Quote:
On Apr 14, 2014, bowers wrote:
I think higher IQ one's are easier to stump.
Todd


Another thread had someone say that most magicians he knew had a higher IQ. Should we conclude that magicians are the easiest to fool?

I know some extremely intelligent people who'd figure out most magic, and others with similar intellect who couldn't, or didn't want to. It all depends on whether they play the game. Some people will burn your hands all the time, and you may be able to do a secret move as you finally get them to look into your eyes for a split second. They may not have seen the move, you didn't fool them either. Others will gladly let you lead, just to enjoy beeing fooled.

IQs may be strongly correlated to understanding how things are done, I think being easily fooled is more a capacity of going in suspension of disbelief (and being subject to a decent performance).


P!
djurmann
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Family members can be tough too
Loual4
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Quote:
On Apr 16, 2014, Ado wrote:
Quote:
On Apr 14, 2014, bowers wrote:
I think higher IQ one's are easier to stump.
Todd


Another thread had someone say that most magicians he knew had a higher IQ. Should we conclude that magicians are the easiest to fool?

I know some extremely intelligent people who'd figure out most magic, and others with similar intellect who couldn't, or didn't want to. It all depends on whether they play the game. Some people will burn your hands all the time, and you may be able to do a secret move as you finally get them to look into your eyes for a split second. They may not have seen the move, you didn't fool them either. Others will gladly let you lead, just to enjoy beeing fooled.

IQs may be strongly correlated to understanding how things are done, I think being easily fooled is more a capacity of going in suspension of disbelief (and being subject to a decent performance).


P!


This is actually a really interesting comment. Personally, when I watch a magician, I am acutely aware that I may be fooled, and fooled in a big way. However, being a magician, If I can't see how it was done, I can usually see a method that I would use to achieve the same effect. This is due to all the accumulated experience in that particular field. So the questions becomes :" can a high I.Q. magician be easier to fool?" the answer is not necessarily. Other people with high I.Q. may not have this advantage of experience in deception, and therefore could be easier to fool because of their own preconceived notions.
scottds80
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Engineers and mechanical minded people are hardest to fool for me.
"Great Scott the Magician", Gippsland
Terrible Wizard
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Another magician.

Someone who knows you really well.

Combined!
kekoa1
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I agree with most of the replies here that kids are tough. But then again...I'm not a kids magician. I most likely never will be. The people I know who are kids magicians usually perform material strictly geared towards the kid mentality and they have a lot of fun! Whether or not they are "fooled" is another story.

Then there are the parents of those kids. The rare occasion that I perform at a table that happens to have kids on it...the adults usually aren't expecting the magic to be so good that it impresses them. I usually play to the adults and incorporate the kids somehow...and most of the time...I know that the adults are holding back their enthusiasm because they feel that the magic shouldn't be for them in a sense...isn't magic just for kids? The hardest part for me is breaking down that wall and hopefully having the entire table enjoy the magic.
RobertlewisIR
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For me, it depends on the effect. Different effects use different methods, of course, and different groups of people have different experiences. If an effect is mechanically complicated, someone with a lot of mechanical engineering experience may be harder to fool than someone else. That said, I've found a few trends overall that I think are worth noting.

First, intelligent people are generally easier. I think this is for a number of reasons, but I'll suggest a few. 1) I understand how intelligent people think and can easily use their assumptions against them. 2) Intelligent people are generally more polite and reserved, and so easier to control. 3) Because I consider myself an intellectual, I find it easy to get these people on my side because we share interests and common experiences. Those conversations make for good misdirection.

Second, children are hard. Again, several reasons. 1) As has been suggested, kids are naturally curious and imaginative, and I can't rely on their assumptions to lead them down a garden path. 2) Children are wilder, more difficult to control, and more prone to actively seeking the answer. 3) I don't have children, have limited experience with children and don't do kids shows, so I lack the grounding in their experience necessary to understand their thinking.

Third, most people are just average. They're neither easy nor hard to fool. They just do their thing and I do mine, and we all enjoy the show.

Fourth, the drunker they get, the easier they are to fool, until right around drink number four, then they start becoming "that" spectator and start getting harder because they become more and more child-like.

Fifth, people who believe in psychics are easy. They've been so conditioned to think these things are real that even though I emphatically deny that supernatural powers exist, they often convince themselves that I'm some sort of demigod regardless. I could probably load an elephant into my sleeve right in front of them and they'd still insist it was real magic.

Sixth, my mother is the hardest person in the world. She's seen too much magic, actively tries to catch things, actively tries to make conditions more difficult, is immune to any acting I do, and has the sense of hearing of an owl. Mind you, she's only that difficult when I'M performing, but one reaches a point at which it's just not worth the bother anymore.
~Bob



----------



Last night, I dreamed I ate the world's largest marshmallow. When I woke up, the pillow was gone.
JohnnyPD
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Sorry Robert, but I'm going to have to disagree with a few of the instances or statements you made regarding those with a higher intelligence quotient and those with a high level of scientific knowledge and understanding (physics). Now first off I think we should clarify that there is a big difference between IQ and education or knowledge of a subject or subject matter. IQ simply measures a person's capacity for intelligence and doesn't actually measure their true intelligence. I've known some pretty stupid people with high IQ's and I think those may be the type mentioned above as those who are easily conned or convinced by an illusion and not able to see or figure out how it was done.

Being one with a physics background and knowing others of like mindedness, I don't see any of them going the route of the "magicians do their tricks thru the power of demons." Don't even get me started on those people, which I really don't understand why they feel that anything they see done by another human that they can't explain MUST have been done thru the power of demons with whom they are in league. It's like they don't even think a human being is capable of enough creativity to create a believable illusion that would appear to be "true magic." I had a conversation with one and even after they were told exactly how the trick was done, they turned around and used an example of another magician doing the exact same trick in the exact same way (which they were previously shown) and because the second magician had better "equipment" and better skills, the person used their better performance that a demon must be involved. Say what? You were just shown how the trick was done, this person did it exactly as you were shown, but because of better props and performance you're now convinced HE did it with a demon?

Most physicists I know, like myself, are skeptics and would never believe in any true magic or demons or supernatural explanations. I also don't' think a modern physicist would be as prone "black and white" viewing and unable to see something that "broke the rules." Modern physics has had to reconcile dark matter, dark energy, and Quantum Physics (which breaks all the laws of physics) with their scientific view of the universe.

Now what I think IS true is that those that think they're really smart, those that think they can't be conned, those that find it necessary for others to know these things about themselves, I do think those people are very receptive to being conned or deceived. The really smart people I know don't even think of themselves that way and would never, ever even suggest that they were to anyone and if anyone were to point out their intelligence, they'd deflect that suggestion with an inarguable point, that they may have done a lot of studying in one field of science or in one area of study, but they've done so to the detriment of other fields or areas of study. They'd suggest that their no smarter than anyone, in fact they probably know less about a lot more things than most people do, which they've traded to know a lot more about one thing than most people do.

It's all relative... but kids? Most definitely kids, cause that's been one of my main target audiences, so I can speak from experience and I think all the reasons given above are valid.

Oh... and I apologize in advance if anything I stated above was taken in any offensive way, because it is strictly my opinion based on my own world view and personal experience and I'll be the first to say that I'm wrong, when I'm wrong and according to my wife I'm wrong most of the time.
Magic is believing in yourself. If you can do that, you can make anything happen.
danhughes
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A prime example of fooling the super-intelligent: Remember that Arthur Conan Doyle, who wrote all those brilliant Sherlock Holmes stories, believed in fairies and spiritualism.

I always found it super-ironic that the absolute master of the clever mystery story could be so easily taken in by the charlatans. Houdini proved to Doyle over and over that it was all fakery, but Doyle stubbornly refused to listen.
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