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

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6 comments:

  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.

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

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  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.

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

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