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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Effects about some Cognitive Bias (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

RickThibau
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Hello fellow mentalists,

I'm trying to get in touch with Richard Wiseman so he can (hopefully) help me with something, but I thought he might be busy and probably some of you guys will have nice contributions on this.

The subject of interest are the cognitive biases - there are a few of nice threads on the Café about CBs already - and at the moment I’m struggling to develop a performance where at least a few of the ones listed bellow would be represented in the form of interactive experiences.
Although I have already tried different classic effects (while framing them to fit the description of the CBs I’m working with), I feel a bit lost with these ones in particular.

Would you mind sharing any hint, clue or suggesting effects that could work for this task? That would help me a lot!
I really appreciate your attention!

The ones on my list for this task are:

-anchoring,
-loss aversion,
-optimism bias,
-hyperbolic discounting and
-herd behavior.

Best regards from Brazil,
Rick Thibau

References:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_bias
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cognitive_biases
January
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I always liked Kahneman and Tversky's work, long before I came to mentalism.

This is a bit hazy, but it's strikes me that biases like loss aversion, optimism bias, and hyperbolic discounting could be applied to a sort of Bank Night or Smash and Stab (I hate that effect) scenario, since those effects hinge on participants making choices based on the possibility of potential losses or gains.

I suppose you could engineer things so it seems you've used cognitive biases to predict or anticipate the outcome, even when you haven't.

So, you could arrange a plot where you have one or more spectators make a series of choices that lead to one another, with potential rewards/losses for each choice. Then when you reveal that you've correctly predicted/anticipated the participant's choices, they could be explained through cognitive biases. You'd need to be good at improvising a script to fit the series of choices into that explanation, though.

That's still quite vague, but is that the direction your looking for? Or have I gone off on a completely random tangent?
RickThibau
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Wow! Thank you for your ideias, January! Not off at all! I can visualise this working quite well with a kind of Bank Night..! Scripting wouldn't be a problem after deciding the exact effects.
Nice hit, I feel embarrassed that I didn't think of BN before! Lol

Smash and stab would be too much for the audience I will face with this act ("sensitive" people). Could work, but I don't want to go for something that will bring further difficulties of any kind of controversy, but another excellent hit..!

If you have other suggestions, please share!
January
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I'm not a fan of Smash and Stab either, but there are many possibilities for a negative reward that wouldn't be so gruesome or threatening. For example, you could invert BN so it has a more negative twist: five envelopes, all have cash, except one is empty. You could let the eliminate envelopes one-by-one. All they have to do is avoid that one losing envelope. In that scenario, it'd be more fun to let them win. (Single dollar bills in the winning bags so you don't go broke.) Or, if you want them to lose, you could just have them choose one of five envelopes, and of course it turns out to be the losing envelope. Derren Brown does a number of these type of effects in his Events series episode "How to Take Down a Casino." Give it a watch: I'd say that might spark your interest and get your creative juices flowing.
Waters.
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For some time, I thought have about these types of things. For instance in "Predictably Irrational" a phenomena of this sort was described, where we have a bias toward the more appealing choice of two similar (out of three) options. For instance three envelopes (with symbols or letters, etc.), two of which are similar items. The "odd" item is not chosen often. The more desireable of the two other items where chosen. If you think through this, there are numerous ways to apply this. But it is important to factor in the inherent values of the items themselves. Does this make sense?
Check out my (soon to be released) ebook, WANDERER at..
www.experience-architecture.com
Dr Spektor
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I use Cognitive frames as the basis for 99% of my effects and how to explain perception and meaning... people love it. The whole 'not knowing" zone puts people into places you can turn into experiences of wonderment and enlightenment.
"They are lean and athirst!!!!"
Energizer
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Herd behaviour - out of this world with multiple participants
Loss aversion - dai vernons three card monte as presented by Eugene Burger
"We judge a book by its cover and read what we want between selected lines" - W. Axl Rose, circa 1992.
RickThibau
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Thanx guys!

I've already scripted most of the effects and yesterday I tested two of them in a corporate performance - they worked well.

January, Waters., Dr Spektor and Energizer - thank you for sharing your thoughts/comments here!
January
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Glad to know our little brainstorming session helped!
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