Attentionalmisdirection : Controlofattentionalfocus, Control of attentional timing , Control of attentional resources
Non-attentionalmisdirection: Masking, Grouping, Black light theater.
Effort put into an effect
CONCLUSION Performing magic does not necessarily require a deep understanding of why misdirection works; most magic practitioners are simply interested in improving their magic performance. Consequently, previous taxonomies of misdirection have tended to emphasize those aspects dealing directly with technique. However, in recent years there has been increased interest in understanding why these techniques (and their related principles) work, ideally by linking them to what is known of human cognition (Kuhn et al., 2008a). To facilitate this, we have proposed here a way to organize knowledge about magic (or at least, misdirection) such that is based on our current understanding of perception and cognition. Our psychologically-based taxonomy is far from complete, and as our understanding of both misdirection and cognition advance, aspects of this taxonomy will change.Butweenvisagethatitwillhelpthedialogbetweenmagicians and scientists and act as a useful perspective from which to explain the psychological mechanisms involved. Among other things, we hope that it will help highlight misdirection principles to an audience with less knowledge in magic. We also hope that it might provide a template for a similar organization of knowledge aboutotheraspectsofmagicmoregenerally(seealsoRensinkand Kuhn, under review). Deﬁning misdirection has been far from trivial, and there is still no general consensus on its deﬁnition. We chose a rather broad deﬁnition of misdirection so as to include a wide range of cognitive mechanisms. If our deﬁnition is too broad, we could be in danger of developing a taxonomy of magic in general rather than misdirection. Whilst Hugard (1960), implicitly suggests that misdirection and magic can indeed be used synonymously, we do notintendtodevelopacompletetaxonomyofmagichere.Indeed there are countless magic principles that do not fall within our taxonomy, in that they do not involve misdirection (e.g. forcing, opticalillusions,suggestions...). Magicians are undoubtedly masters of deception. But they tend to be skeptical about whether science can teach them anything about misdirection, or magic in general (Teller, 2012). In most other domains (e.g., medicine or sports), practitioners have improved performance by understanding the mechanisms involved. It’s hard to see why magic should be an exception. Thus, although our psychologically-based taxonomy is primarily intended to further our understanding of cognition, it may well help magicians improve their misdirection. To begin with, it could help magicians draw links between misdirection and formal theories of cognition, which could help them develop more effective tricks. For example, there is much scientiﬁc knowledge about several rather counter-intuitive cognitive biases and illusions (e.g., change blindness, inattentional blindness, false memories, choice blindness), which helps explain the mechanisms behind these illusions. And as in any other domain, it is likely that knowledge about the cognitive processes will eventually lead to improvements in the methods used, and maybe even new misdirection principles (see also Williams and McOwan, 2014; Rensink and Kuhn, under review). In any event, we hope that our taxonomy will encourage further scientiﬁc research in the ﬁeld, and so help us better understand the human mind.