Friday, August 3, 2012

Self Deception: Why people believe in things that are NOT TRUE

Skeptic Michael Shermer
Skeptic Michael Shermer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Scams are not that hard to pull off, really.

Magic acts and illusions are basically scams done for entertainment. They rely on misdirection and distraction, to mislead you into thinking something had happened when it didn't, or vice versa: something did not happen when it did.

When your mind sees something, you are constrained by your prior thinking into "predicting" a pattern that will occur, so when you see a sign that seem to confirm your pattern, you believe that "pattern" had indeed occurred.

This is known as self-deception.

Magicians use this all the time, as explained before. The cups and balls trick relies on the magician doing things with sleight of hand, like slip a ball under the cup just as he opens it. Same with card tricks, mostly.

Scammers do the same way. They make you think a certain something has happened, but they then switched something and you kept on believing that what you *think* happened did happen, when it didn't. You kept on deceiving yourself. He opened the wrong door, and you walked through it and believing it's the right path.

Watch Michael Shermer, Skeptics magazine, explain self-deception.

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