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The role of audience participation and task relevance on change detection during a card trick.

Smith TJ - Front Psychol (2015)

Bottom Line: Failure to detect changes to objects while passively viewing magic tricks has been shown to be conditional on the changing feature being irrelevant to the current task.If the feature was relevant during either the pick-up or put-down action change detection was as good as during the watching block.These results confirm the ability of audience participation to create subtle dynamics of attention and perception during a magic trick and hide otherwise striking changes at the center of attention.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck, University of London , London, UK.

ABSTRACT
Magicians utilize many techniques for misdirecting audience attention away from the secret sleight of a trick. One technique is to ask an audience member to participate in a trick either physically by asking them to choose a card or cognitively by having them keep track of a card. While such audience participation is an established part of most magic the cognitive mechanisms by which it operates are unknown. Failure to detect changes to objects while passively viewing magic tricks has been shown to be conditional on the changing feature being irrelevant to the current task. How change blindness operates during interactive tasks is unclear but preliminary evidence suggests that relevance of the changing feature may also play a role (Triesch et al., 2003). The present study created a simple on-line card trick inspired by Triesch et al.'s (2003) that allowed playing cards to be instantaneously replaced without distraction or occlusion as participants were either actively sorting the cards (Doing condition) or watching another person perform the task (Watching conditions). Participants were given one of three sets of instructions. The relevance of the card color to the task increased across the three instructions. During half of the trials a card changed color (but retained its number) as it was moving to the stack. Participants were instructed to immediately report such changes. Analysis of the probability of reporting a change revealed that actively performing the sorting task led to more missed changes than passively watching the same task but only when the changing feature was irrelevant to the sorting task. If the feature was relevant during either the pick-up or put-down action change detection was as good as during the watching block. These results confirm the ability of audience participation to create subtle dynamics of attention and perception during a magic trick and hide otherwise striking changes at the center of attention.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Example frames from the card sorting task. Participants were presented with six playing cards arranged in a semi-circle around two card stacks (i.e., face down cards). Their task was to move the cards in a specified order on to the stacks (Doing task) or watch somebody else complete the task and comment if they followed the instructions correctly (Watching task). If they notice a card change they described the change by clicking on “Report a change.” (A) A participant drags the four of hearts to the left stack; (B) the Jack of Diamonds changes to a Jack of Spades as it is dragged across the invisible boundary (dotted line); (C) the Jack is dropped on the left stack; (D) the change is reported. The task continued after the reporting window had been closed.
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Figure 1: Example frames from the card sorting task. Participants were presented with six playing cards arranged in a semi-circle around two card stacks (i.e., face down cards). Their task was to move the cards in a specified order on to the stacks (Doing task) or watch somebody else complete the task and comment if they followed the instructions correctly (Watching task). If they notice a card change they described the change by clicking on “Report a change.” (A) A participant drags the four of hearts to the left stack; (B) the Jack of Diamonds changes to a Jack of Spades as it is dragged across the invisible boundary (dotted line); (C) the Jack is dropped on the left stack; (D) the change is reported. The task continued after the reporting window had been closed.

Mentions: Participants took part in a card sorting game on-line. They were presented with 40 trials in which six playing cards were presented face-up in a semi-circle around two stacks (face-down cards with red-backs). See Figure 1A for layout of the display. Trials were divided into two blocks, 20 trials each. In one block participants were instructed to sort the cards onto the stacks in a specified order by dragging them with the mouse. This was the doing block. In the other block they were told to watch another participant (actually a computer simulation) complete the task according to the same rules and judge at the end of each trial if they completed the task correctly by clicking Yes/No. This was the watching block. Block order was counterbalanced across participants. There were three instruction conditions (1) pick up cards left to right and place on left stack (=color irrelevant); (2) pick up red cards and place on left stack then pick up black cards and place on left stack (=color only relevant during pick-up); (3) pick up red cards and place on left stack then pick up black cards and place on right stack (=color relevant during pick-up and placement). Instructions varied across participants but were the same across both doing and watching blocks for each participant. Therefore, the design was 2 (Task; Within subjects) × 3 (Instruction; Between subjects) mixed design.


The role of audience participation and task relevance on change detection during a card trick.

Smith TJ - Front Psychol (2015)

Example frames from the card sorting task. Participants were presented with six playing cards arranged in a semi-circle around two card stacks (i.e., face down cards). Their task was to move the cards in a specified order on to the stacks (Doing task) or watch somebody else complete the task and comment if they followed the instructions correctly (Watching task). If they notice a card change they described the change by clicking on “Report a change.” (A) A participant drags the four of hearts to the left stack; (B) the Jack of Diamonds changes to a Jack of Spades as it is dragged across the invisible boundary (dotted line); (C) the Jack is dropped on the left stack; (D) the change is reported. The task continued after the reporting window had been closed.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4318204&req=5

Figure 1: Example frames from the card sorting task. Participants were presented with six playing cards arranged in a semi-circle around two card stacks (i.e., face down cards). Their task was to move the cards in a specified order on to the stacks (Doing task) or watch somebody else complete the task and comment if they followed the instructions correctly (Watching task). If they notice a card change they described the change by clicking on “Report a change.” (A) A participant drags the four of hearts to the left stack; (B) the Jack of Diamonds changes to a Jack of Spades as it is dragged across the invisible boundary (dotted line); (C) the Jack is dropped on the left stack; (D) the change is reported. The task continued after the reporting window had been closed.
Mentions: Participants took part in a card sorting game on-line. They were presented with 40 trials in which six playing cards were presented face-up in a semi-circle around two stacks (face-down cards with red-backs). See Figure 1A for layout of the display. Trials were divided into two blocks, 20 trials each. In one block participants were instructed to sort the cards onto the stacks in a specified order by dragging them with the mouse. This was the doing block. In the other block they were told to watch another participant (actually a computer simulation) complete the task according to the same rules and judge at the end of each trial if they completed the task correctly by clicking Yes/No. This was the watching block. Block order was counterbalanced across participants. There were three instruction conditions (1) pick up cards left to right and place on left stack (=color irrelevant); (2) pick up red cards and place on left stack then pick up black cards and place on left stack (=color only relevant during pick-up); (3) pick up red cards and place on left stack then pick up black cards and place on right stack (=color relevant during pick-up and placement). Instructions varied across participants but were the same across both doing and watching blocks for each participant. Therefore, the design was 2 (Task; Within subjects) × 3 (Instruction; Between subjects) mixed design.

Bottom Line: Failure to detect changes to objects while passively viewing magic tricks has been shown to be conditional on the changing feature being irrelevant to the current task.If the feature was relevant during either the pick-up or put-down action change detection was as good as during the watching block.These results confirm the ability of audience participation to create subtle dynamics of attention and perception during a magic trick and hide otherwise striking changes at the center of attention.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck, University of London , London, UK.

ABSTRACT
Magicians utilize many techniques for misdirecting audience attention away from the secret sleight of a trick. One technique is to ask an audience member to participate in a trick either physically by asking them to choose a card or cognitively by having them keep track of a card. While such audience participation is an established part of most magic the cognitive mechanisms by which it operates are unknown. Failure to detect changes to objects while passively viewing magic tricks has been shown to be conditional on the changing feature being irrelevant to the current task. How change blindness operates during interactive tasks is unclear but preliminary evidence suggests that relevance of the changing feature may also play a role (Triesch et al., 2003). The present study created a simple on-line card trick inspired by Triesch et al.'s (2003) that allowed playing cards to be instantaneously replaced without distraction or occlusion as participants were either actively sorting the cards (Doing condition) or watching another person perform the task (Watching conditions). Participants were given one of three sets of instructions. The relevance of the card color to the task increased across the three instructions. During half of the trials a card changed color (but retained its number) as it was moving to the stack. Participants were instructed to immediately report such changes. Analysis of the probability of reporting a change revealed that actively performing the sorting task led to more missed changes than passively watching the same task but only when the changing feature was irrelevant to the sorting task. If the feature was relevant during either the pick-up or put-down action change detection was as good as during the watching block. These results confirm the ability of audience participation to create subtle dynamics of attention and perception during a magic trick and hide otherwise striking changes at the center of attention.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus