May 18, 2010

Derren Brown Investigates

Derren Brown is a fantastic performer who could easily trick people into believing he has psychic powers. In his performances, he appears to be a stunning mind reader. However, Derren Brown says all he does is use a mix of mix magic, suggestion, psychology, misdirection and showmanship. In fact, he is actually a great rationalist and skeptic himself. Currently, he has a new show on English Channel 4 called 'Derren Brown Investigates'. It's wonderful, as you can see below.  

Derren Brown Investigates - The Man Who Contacts The Dead (Cold Reading)

View more: Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5

Derren Brown Investigates The Ruissian Bronnikov method of helping blind people to see

View more: Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5


  1. Coert,

    I've read a few books on biases in human thinking and this goes to show how powerful confirmation bias is. When you ask someone a question such as "Is so and so an enthusiastic person?" They'll immediately think of examples of the person being enthusiastic. They won't think of all the non-examples of him being "non-enthusiastic" that would help provide a better answer to the question. So when doing a cold reading people are asking themselves "Is he psychic" and they remember all the confirming evidence and forget all the non-confirming evidence. I noticed that all the people who were read forgot about the times the psychic was wrong or was giving guesses. Of course that's because I start from the premise that he is not psychic so I can see that easily.

  2. Hi Rodney, I agree. There are many interesting books on this. Are there any in particular you would recommend?

  3. One of the best is "Don't Believe Everything You Think" by Thomas E. Kida. Another good one is "Predictably Irrational" by Dan Ariely.

  4. a very interesting topic. :D I really like derren brown and hope to see him personally


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