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Derren Brown - Hypnosis


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#31    Ziggy Stardust

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 05:53 AM

darkbreed on Sep 18 2008, 05:16 AM, said:

Some of Derren Brown's stuff is pretty obvious when it comes to how he does it, some of it is not quite so obvious.

Here's one example that got me puzzled, anyone can explain this for me?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Di8uiVK-VQ...feature=related

Cheers,
-EA


This is the only thing he does which has me stumped. It has to be an illusory trick - with the subject's eyes closed, there really isn't any rational way to explain it.

Also, it's amazing how he can seemingly read minds. He is exceptionally good at reading microsignals - to the point that he can actually have an accurate idea of what is going on in a person's mind. Information on how to do this is extremely scarce.

The world needs more geniuses with humility; there are so few of us left.

#32    darkbreed

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 06:27 AM

Yes.. that's one of the things that got me.

I saw another one where he from just staring at a girl could tell her that she was thinking about her Birthday, when she was 10 years old, and that she got a very special gift that day, and that the gift was a horse.. needless to say the girl was freaked out =)

Really I just don't get how that is possible, I mean how can you get anything remotely to being so close?

The person could have thought about anything, and yet he can tell such incredible details about it... heck!  ohmy.gif

Think I'd be a  bit scared to be around with that guy really lol.. I wonder if he got friends who dare to actually hang out with him :S

-EA

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#33    Ziggy Stardust

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 07:35 AM

darkbreed on Sep 18 2008, 07:27 AM, said:

Yes.. that's one of the things that got me.

I saw another one where he from just staring at a girl could tell her that she was thinking about her Birthday, when she was 10 years old, and that she got a very special gift that day, and that the gift was a horse.. needless to say the girl was freaked out =)

Really I just don't get how that is possible, I mean how can you get anything remotely to being so close?

The person could have thought about anything, and yet he can tell such incredible details about it... heck!  ohmy.gif

Think I'd be a  bit scared to be around with that guy really lol.. I wonder if he got friends who dare to actually hang out with him :S

-EA


Haha so would I... It's really quite scary. I think there's definitely something in the gradual, methodical process he takes to pinpoint the thought. It begins broad, and narrows down, while all the while he maintains that they "look him in the eyes." He also touches them, often on the head. If thoughts really can be expressed in microsignals, he is undoubtedly the master of reading them.

The world needs more geniuses with humility; there are so few of us left.

#34    darkbreed

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 08:21 AM

Yeah I just got inspired to expand my personal library thanks to him and got some new books on these methods, from persuasion, cold reading, to hypnosis and mind control, nlp, suggestions, etc.

Will get my nose down in them for a while and go to bed, see ya tomorrow wink2.gif

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#35    eight bits

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 09:10 AM

Quote

Here's one example that got me puzzled, anyone can explain this for me?

There are two gags in that clip. I believe that Brown says how he does the first one (guessing the word the young man is thinking of), "I may have placed a word in your mind," refering to an earlier off-camera discussion. Yes, he may have.

On the eyes-closed co-ordination of gestures, the quality of the audio is poor, and the microphone (boom-mounted, which strays into the shot at one point) is directional. I conjecture that with so many people in the room, the subject picks up on the difference in the spectators' breathing as the gesture unfolds.

We don't get to hear the "room tone" in the video. The volunteer is under no such handicap. (Whether the boom operator also contributes to the cueing, I cannot say, but wouldn't rule it out. He or she doesn't have to be "in on it" to be helpful. The operator's job is to anticipate the action. This is a known problem for ventriloquists, who must instruct boom operators not to mike the dummy, the natural human response to what the operators are seeing.)

Note the difference in the crispness of tracking between when Brown does it, and when the volunteer leads. Brown uses an elaborate "wrist roll" and is attentive that he co-ordinates with his subject as much as the other way around. Live audiences are very forgiving in their judgments of simultaneity, which is helpful for all kinds of perforrmances, not just magic shows.

The volunteer, who is instructed to stand behind the subject, makes a more straightforward gesture than Brown's. Because of the camera angle, we can see the lag between his gesture and the subject's response, but the live audience cannot see the volunteer's gesture until it is well along. The subject's response kicks in when the audience can see and spontaneously react to the volunteer moving his arm.

Quote

with the subject's eyes closed, there really isn't any rational way to explain it.

Brown makes sure his subject has normal hearing. Human beings have extraordinary auditory processing capability. We can even navigate by echo-location, comparable to bats, with a brief training interval... most people, however, never try it, so they think they cannot do it.

All that is necessary to free up all that processing power is to shut up. Brown shuts up.

Quote

Yeah I just got inspired to expand my personal library thanks to him and got some new books on these methods, from persuasion, cold reading, to hypnosis and mind control, nlp, suggestions, etc.

Sounds like the salesman has been sold a few things original.gif .

Edited by eight bits, 18 September 2008 - 09:21 AM.

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#36    Bill Hill

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 11:02 AM



One trick I've noticed Derren Brown incorporates, is when speaking- he reinforces a word or statement by slapping his hand down hard, on a desk..
Probably to reaffirm or lock it within the mind of the subject. ie
"The sky is the colour BlUE SMACK"
"Think of the Ace of diamonds SMACK"
"I'm GAY SMACK"

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#37    darkbreed

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 12:21 AM

eight bits on Sep 18 2008, 10:10 AM, said:

Sounds like the salesman has been sold a few things original.gif .


Yeah well what can I say, he got me wink2.gif

Well not really, I've been studying this for some years on and off now, and orignally looked up Derren Browns videos because of my interest in the topic and not the other way around, though after watching through a huge amount of his videos I realized that there's plenty still to learn here and even though some of the things he do is rather obvious , other things are pretty amazing.

Also thanks for your theory on how that trick was done, some good points there.

I'll give you a go at this one as well:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuOL5QQGzjQ...feature=related

Note, ignore the ESP test that's not the part of the video I'm interested in, but the other part where he "reads the mind " of that chick.

The only thing I personally could think of here is that he must have put some suggestions into her before the show, they do come out together there so obviously they most likely have been talking right before. What do you think?

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#38    eight bits

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 09:43 AM

That's a very nice clip, Edward Alexander.

The target factoid is that the lady was given a horse for her tenth birthday. Immediately before the reading, she had been asked an impertinent (and not family-forum oriented) question by the hostess of the show, which involved a horse. The lady's answer was clever, and picked up on the horse theme.

Non-psychic hamster though I may be, and not knowing that it would be significant later on, I spontaneously formed the impression at that point that the lady really did have a horse as a child.

Presumably, that horse would have been given to her as a gift, and that that might have been as a birthday present is not so much of a stretch, and ten is not so unusual an age. (Although I hadn't thought it through that far, because there was no reason to.)

The hostess' question was an "early in life" matter, and Brown chooses the frame of his target factoid to suit. It is to be a childhood memory, and he noodges it towards the pleasant variety.

The lady was fairly open throughout. Although she dodged the hostess' impertinent personal question with dispatch, I could feel the "wheels turning in her head" as she decided to close off that part of her life from public discussion, as if "shielding" herself was not her natural stance, but a conscious decision in that time and place.

Brown himself, in the patter that accompanied his reading, remarks at one point that she outrightly nodded her head in reply to one of his probes, and she denies that she did so. Shortly thereafter, her face completely changes expression as he homes in on the target, and of course her reaction to his hitting it could not have been more pronounced - she stands up and walks away, then circles back.

His repeated instruction "don't give me anything" by facial expression or body language probably has the opposite effect, since a "poker face" just isn't in this lady's repertoire - she does not know how to comply with the instruction, it would seem, and as a model, it is in some sense her job to use her face and body language.

So, the subject of a childhood horse was definitely in play. The lady would make a very poor poker player. Brown does stir the pot, making her self-conscious about her face and body attitude (even the ironic snippet of patter that he hates every minute of his job, is about how she looks). But she is anyway, since it is her job, and her job is why she is on the show in the first place.

And, of course, he is holding her hand throughout... I can only imagine what she is giving away through that channel, but it's almost overkill, she is so open.

Pulling it apart like this is a little unfair to Brown, since he puts it all together in a very smooth performance. He is good at this.

Anyway, thanks for the URL. I enjoyed it.

Edited by eight bits, 19 September 2008 - 10:03 AM.

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#39    darkbreed

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 07:20 PM

Interesting analysis, I will have to watch the video again with the things you just said in mind. And yes I do agree she certainly would not make it good with poker wink2.gif Funny you mention that, I'm actually working on a poker related job as I type this heh.

Anyway, I got another one that I enjoyed myself, it has a funny experiment that is self-explanatory and does not need any analysis as it does not involve any trick per se, except for on the participants but the watchers of the show know what is going on, and another part where he is illustrating his ability to predict an outcome with some lotto players - this is the interesting part. There's some other things too but it was that last part with the lotto number prediction I found most interesting.

Here it is:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8...treat&vt=lf

Cheers and enjoy!

EDIT: I just remembered another part, where Brown gets a woman to look at a bunch of cards put up on a wall, then chose one of the cards, and he then proceeds with blindfolding the woman, and ask her to throw a dart, which hits the exact card the woman had chosen, and in addition once he removes the blindfold and show it to her he also reveals that he had predicted what card she would hit, and not only that! - he even had drawn a circle on the back of the card and predicted that she would hit the card on the part where the circle was, which it did! That one was quite mindblowing! Not sure if it is the same video as posted above, but i think it was. If anyone watches it let me know if it was this one or not and if it was not I'll try find the one.

-Edward Alexander

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#40    eight bits

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 11:02 PM

That's a sweet clip. Thanks for posting it.

The B.F. Skinner pigeon "superstition" experiments have been discussed a bit hereabouts recently, on the religion and skeptic board. Brown adds a great twist.

And yes, that vid is the same one with the woman, cards, and darts segment.

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#41    darkbreed

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 12:04 AM

Yes that's one of my favorite clips so far =)

Browns version of the Skinner experiment was great hehe.

So what's your take on the dart & cards trick?

-EA

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#42    Ziggy Stardust

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 03:52 AM

Criticisms associated with NLP:


--
Sanghera, a columinst for Financial Times (London, 2005) writes, "critics say NLP is simply a half-baked conflation of pop psychology and pseudoscience that uses jargon to disguise the fact that it is based on a set of banal, if not incorrect, presuppositions"

NLP has been criticized by clinical psychologists, management scholars, linguists, psychotherapists and cult awareness groups, concerning ineffectiveness, pseudoscientific explanation of linguistics and neurology, ethically questionable, cult-like characteristics, and promotion by exaggerated claims. Schütz, an NLP practitioner outlines the varying length and quality of NLP training, and the difference between the hobbyist courses and full length training, he outlines some criticism of NLP saying it has even been, "labeled in unfavorable political ways (nazilinguistic programming)"
--


I've been reading a lot into NLP lately and, in my opinion, there are two sides to the coin. On one side is the initial concept formulated in the 70s, which, though it lost interest in the scientific community, appears to hold some truths, and has successful practical applications e.g Derren's use of the 'swish technique' http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yr-QtNE9k84 (watch it, it's impressive)

On the other side is a new age self-help craze which sprouted from the initial concepts. Companies which use obscuarantist language and over-reliance on testimonial and anecdotal evidence to sell 'Improve your life with NLP' or 'Make any woman fall madly in love with you with Neuro-Linguistic Programming' scams. "Much of NLP is now largely targeted for niche markets (particularly commercialized, cut down or self-help usage), and may be more controversial or esoteric, sometimes charismatically or evangelistically taught. Some of the original developers, notably Richard Bandler and the stage hypnotist Paul McKenna, have encouraged these trends and the resulting fragmentation and move towards "pop NLP" has discredited the subject in the eyes of many people." It is this side which discredits the rest.

Edited by Ziggy Stardust, 20 September 2008 - 04:09 AM.

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#43    eight bits

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 09:44 AM

Quote

So what's your take on the dart & cards trick?

The subject chooses her target playing card from the array of cards, and hits it with a dart, while blindfolded. I think she did that honestly, and deserves her first prize, the bottle of champagne. Brava.

Whether she had hit her target or not, she would have hit some card. Had it not been her chosen card, Brown would have said "Too bad, you didn't win the champagne...Wait, but look, there's a note on the bottle..." and he would have offered her the fifty pounds as a "consolation prize" if she happened to have hit the circle on the back of whichever card her dart pierced.

The basic idea is that the wall is false (an easy thing to construct for video production work). There is a techie behind the wall. The playing cards are glued to a backing secured around a hole in the wall. After the dart is thrown, during the patter about the bottle, the techie cuts away the backing immediately around the dart, makes the circle with a Sharpie (felt-tip marker) pen, and patches the backing.

I didn't do any materials testing, but stretched canvas, backstopped with a nylon grid, should be able to take the hit of the dart, be cuttable and quickly patchable. The card itself should hold the dart well enough during the "surgery," and Sharpies make their marks with almost no applied force.

Quote

Criticisms associated with NLP:

We can agree that the recent "pop NLP" stuff is commercial claptrap.

Turning back to the 1970's, the issue for scientists would not be whether NLP "appears to hold some truths." We agree that it does, after all. The rub is whether these are new truths, or truths which reveal previously unknown psychological phenomena, or which provide new explanations of known phenomena.

Perhaps unusual among scholars, scientists don't seem to mind "popular science," the way that historians (say) can be sniffy about "popular history" as opposed to "scholarly history." Scientists read Scientific American. Scientists watch Nova.

So, I don't think there was much problem about NLP being published as "popular psychology." But I do think that NLP fell on the wrong side of an old joke:

"Your proposal has much that is new, and much that is useful. Unfortunately, what's useful in it is not new, and what's new is not useful."

That's fatal.

Edited by eight bits, 20 September 2008 - 10:07 AM.

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#44    Ziggy Stardust

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 10:27 AM

eight bits on Sep 20 2008, 10:44 AM, said:

"Your proposal has much that is new, and much that is useful. Unfortunately, what's useful in it is not new, and what's new is not useful."

That's fatal.


Great way to put it. NLP is an embellished term which swallows up an array of simple, effectual, and no doubt long-lived principles (useful), diluting them with pseudoscientific jargon. (new)

I am currently improving my NLP skills. It has been a constant struggle to fight through the profit-hungry crap we're seeing today.

Edited by Ziggy Stardust, 20 September 2008 - 10:28 AM.

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#45    darkbreed

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 02:38 AM

Good explanation Eight Bits, sounds like a very plausible way this one was done indeed. I can't believe I didn't think of that myself lol. Makes perfect sense.

Cheers
-EA

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