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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Your preference: The psychological approach vs the paranormal approach. (17 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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IAIN
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Yeah of course, entirely your opinion, that's all we have in these kinds of discussions an forums...

i think its about "position of power", Milgram and so on... if you trust enough in "a thing" enough, and it incrementally asks you to do more and more stuff because that thing is wise/special/whatever - there's a good chance you will do it...

the thing is, you wouldn't go straight out and ask for the big stuff (like leaving your wife) - its built up over time, that's the reality of any interaction...whether its sales, friendships, whatever else...

just like you can go in and ask for a huge, huge favour, knowing that someone might turn their nose up at it, so you knock down that ask to something smaller, and therefore its seen as more acceptable,(and its actually what you wanted in the first place, its just you manipulate the situation so it seems you've listened, compromised and are now asking for much, much less)...

i think though, that using an extreme example doesn't get us anywhere in the discussion - because when do these extremes happen in reality? I've never had a psychic walk/float up to me and demand I hand over huge amounts of cash, leave someone, or anything else...those extremes never really happen...its always bait and wait...
Ben Blau
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IAIN, I'm not sure if I'm following your point entirely, but the examples you give do not appear to be based on having faith or belief in something that is not directly observable, or within the realm of direct experience for the average person.

My point is that people are more likely to truly believe in things that they know to be true from their own empirical frame of reference. They way most people live their lives proves this. If it were true that most people REALLY believed in psychics, then most people would be just as comfortable taking their advice for major life decisions as they would be taking their doctors' advice on what medications to take, or when to get open heart surgery.
IAIN
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Quote:
On Jul 24, 2014, Ben Blau wrote:
My point is that people are more likely to truly believe in things that they know to be true from their own empirical frame of reference. They way most people live their lives proves this. If it were true that most people REALLY believed in psychics, then most people would be just as comfortable taking their advice for major life decisions as they would be taking their doctors' advice on what medications to take, or when to get open heart surgery.


you think people DON'T do this?! really?! a quick google will reveal all...i agree though, its all about people's own personal frame of reference...

as a small example, look at how many psychic advice phone lines there are...look at how popular people on shows like Oprah are that say that they are mediums...there is a good percentage of people who do want advice and guidance on how to live their life...
IbiMania
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As I previously mentioned, the purpose of starting the thread was not to give a conclusive answer to which one is better but to just view each side's reasons for using their premise.

I can safely say that people who use the science premise do so because of their belief in it being more convincing. And I am on that side though I do understand the paranormal side's arguments. But to me it is more About convincing myself than others, I cannot take my act seriously if I am claiming to be a supernatural mind reader. Therefore I am more comfortable in pseudo-science presentation.
Ben Blau
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Oh no, I know that SOME people do this. But not "most" people. As a percentage of the general population, the number of people who rely on the advice of psychics for major life decisions is minuscule.
Ben Blau
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And if, as some assert, "most people" REALLY believed in psychics, then most people would probably feel compelled to ALWAYS consult with a psychic before doing much of anything important. Obviously, this is not the case.
IbiMania
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Guys can we focus on Bob Cassidy's approach? He says he can read thoughts when projected in a certain way. Which is an amazing way to make the scope limited and believable no one will challenge him for lottery or ask him how to make life decisions because his "powers" are as he claims limited to thoughts projected in certain ways.

I think science mentalists should learn from it too and not claim to be all too powerful with their NLP, and body language reading.

I loved what he said about the less claims you make the more believable you are.

and that really applied to both ends of the spectrum.
IAIN
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I've not got any more up to date stats to make any of those claims, personally speaking... some/most/a few - all pretty wooly distinctions aren't they....certainly agree that more than half the western population would not consult a psychic over major life events... but just a look through facebook pages of alledged psychic-mediums offering life-coaching, advice on major problems, all kinds of things, quite a lot of them have a whole load of active likers/followers...

i dunno who said "most people" REALLY believed in psychics though (as you said)...no one in this thread from what I can see...
IAIN
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IbiMania - why don't you share more of your own personal thoughts on the subject matter?
mastermindreader
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That's kind of a meaningless assertion. I don't see anyplace where it was stated that most people really believe in "psychics." (which, of course, is entirely different from asserting that a large percentage of people- approximately 41%- accept the possiblity of ESP- including, as I said, many highly intelligent people.)

And it hardly follows that the acceptance of the possiblity of ESP would lead anyone to want to consult a psychic before doing anything important, given that most self-professed psychics aren't.

But here's my intuitive impression of your position- you probably feel that parapsychology is a pseudoscience, and that anyone who accepts its validity must, therefore, be less than intelligent. Close?

And note that parapsychology has nothing to do with metaphysics.
Ben Blau
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IAIN, my statements are in direct response to the original question as to whether or not one approach is inherently more believable than the other.

So, I suppose, the psychic approach would be inherently more believable to people who really believe in psychics. And I'm asserting that there is a huge disparity between the number who CLAIM to believe (lots of people) and those who ACTUALLY believe (very few people, IMO).
mastermindreader
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You seem to be conflating the word "psychic" with thought reading, astrology, tarot, and everything else that the public imagines when they hear the word psychic. Those who accept paranormal claims hardly accept them all equally.

See the Gallup poll referenced earlier.
Ben Blau
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Bob, I never said that intelligent people don't accept the possibility of ESP, but they sure as hell are more likely to be predisposed to "believe" in things that are within their "physical, observable universe" frame of reference.

You're correct that I am a skeptic, but would LOVE for anything supernatural to be true. At that point, it would no longer be supernatural!
IbiMania
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Quote:
On Jul 24, 2014, IAIN wrote:
IbiMania - why don't you share more of your own personal thoughts on the subject matter?


I personally think that more than the audience it is the performer's self confidence that matters. If a performer thinks he can pull off the psychological approach then he should do that, if he doesn't have confidence in the psychic approach, he will not be able to woo a crowd full of believers.

For me, it is easier to pull off the psychlogical premise and it hasn't failed me before. But it is because of my skepticism towards psychic phenomenon that I will not be able to take myself seriously if I were trying to pull that premise off.
Ben Blau
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I also reject that a a Gallup poll is evidence to the contrary. All it shows is that when asked, a certain percentage of people will say that they believe in psychic phenomena. My opinion is that even those who are inclined to answer in the affirmative don't fully comprehend the true meaning of "belief."
mastermindreader
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You're missing my point entirely. You stated earlier that intelligent audiences are more likely to accept psychological presentations, the implication being that those who accept a thought reading premise must, therefore, be less intelligent.

And that is clearly NOT the case.
IAIN
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Quote:
On Jul 24, 2014, Ben Blau wrote:
So, I suppose, the psychic approach would be inherently more believable to people who really believe in psychics. And I'm asserting that there is a huge disparity between the number who CLAIM to believe (lots of people) and those who ACTUALLY believe (very few people, IMO).


sorry ben, but I find this funny! someone who is skeptical, and pro-science (i am too), yet you are making statements that are based on zero evidence...you're lucky slim king isn't here, or it would just explode!

its your opinion that very few people ACTUALLY believe, yet that's an entirely personal judgement you're making...doesn't mean its true, just that its true FOR YOU (and possibly other like minded people) - but we can't start divvying up percentages and making judgement calls on stats that don't exist...

we can deal in evidence, and no more or less...personal opinion on how we break down that information is not needed (nor wanted)...

with that said - I love chan canasta, I think he has a beautiful line when asked how he did something "quite simply really, I MADE you choose it...". that's a great D.R. line right there during an interview on BBCs Parkinson in the 70s...

he even coined his own term didn't he "psychomagic"...and the outrage he caused in the 60s, turning off everyone's tv set at once...with thousands ringing up the bbc complaining that they'd be billing them for the cost of a new tv (amongst other things)...

when people are convinced, no matter what the subject matter, if they believe fully...look at orson welles and war of the worlds, that was a great piece of mentalism in some ways...even how people misremember events, whether they were real or not...
http://paleofuture.gizmodo.com/did-the-w......53582944
Ben Blau
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What makes this so clear to you? It sounds like an assumption to me. I think that an intelligent audience can enjoy your show, even though deep down they realize they are indulging in a fantasy.
Ben Blau
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Quote:
On Jul 24, 2014, IAIN wrote:
Quote:
On Jul 24, 2014, Ben Blau wrote:
So, I suppose, the psychic approach would be inherently more believable to people who really believe in psychics. And I'm asserting that there is a huge disparity between the number who CLAIM to believe (lots of people) and those who ACTUALLY believe (very few people, IMO).


sorry ben, but I find this funny! someone who is skeptical, and pro-science (i am too), yet you are making statements that are based on zero evidence...you're lucky slim king isn't here, or it would just explode!

its your opinion that very few people ACTUALLY believe, yet that's an entirely personal judgement you're making...doesn't mean its true, just that its true FOR YOU (and possibly other like minded people) - but we can't start divvying up percentages and making judgement calls on stats that don't exist...

we can deal in evidence, and no more or less...personal opinion on how we break down that information is not needed (nor wanted)...

with that said - I love chan canasta, I think he has a beautiful line when asked how he did something "quite simply really, I MADE you choose it...". that's a great D.R. line right there during an interview on BBCs Parkinson in the 70s...

he even coined his own term didn't he "psychomagic"...and the outrage he caused in the 60s, turning off everyone's tv set at once...with thousands ringing up the bbc complaining that they'd be billing them for the cost of a new tv (amongst other things)...

when people are convinced, no matter what the subject matter, if they believe fully...look at orson welles and war of the worlds, that was a great piece of mentalism in some ways...even how people misremember events, whether they were real or not...
http://paleofuture.gizmodo.com/did-the-w......53582944


The moment someone says that they find it "funny" that I am expressing my well considered opinion, which was stated as such, it makes me realize that we can probably no longer have meaningful discourse on this topic. It's too bad that you feel the need to ridicule my position just because I disagree with you.
IAIN
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Also, Gallup polls are viable in terms of research...more so than opinion!
http://www.gallup.com/poll/16915/Three-F......mal.aspx
as an example (thought the data is old)
http://www.gallup.com/poll/4483/American......ade.aspx
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