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Experimental Psychology, Magic & Science

Experimental Psychology, Magic & Science

4.6 (14)
189 guests joined
  •  89 Great Eastern Street, London, EC2A 3HX
Suitable for: Adults
American magician-turned-psychologist Dr. Matthew L. Tompkins completed his DPhil in Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford. He is currently a Visiting Academic at ... More Info »
This Funzing Experience:

Is seeing believing? Is believing seeing? How can we hope to conduct experiments on things that only exist within our minds, and, on a related note, can scientists ever be trusted to study deception without being deceived themselves? What can scientists learn about the mind from the illusions developed and practiced by professional magicians? Join magician and experimental psychologist Dr. Matthew L. Tompkins for a fascinating talk exploring the psychology of magic and illusion.

Everyone's heard, and most of us have told, a story about an uncanny or supernatural seeming experience. Accounts of wondrous and impossible phenomena can be found around the world throughout recorded history. These extraordinary events often seem to be facilitated by extra-ordinary individuals: sorcerers, spiritual mediums, psychic sensitives. Such phenomena have even been reported under 'test conditions', witnessed by scientists-men professionally trained in the practice of empirical observation. To date, such events have not led conventional scientists to embrace the reality of supernatural phenomena- but they have arguably led to scientific breakthroughs how we understand the psychology of illusion.

This talk will feature a mixture of storytelling and magical scientific demonstrations to explore how scientists, past and present, have approached the study of illusion. Matt will discuss how magic played a weird but fundamental role in the in the establishment of psychology as a scientific discipline, and how he and other contemporary researchers have been using magic tricks to create new experiments in order to investigate human memory, perception, and reasoning.

Venue: Trapeze

Doors: 7pm / Talk starts: 7.30pm

*Please see venue website for admission (age restrictions) or accessibility information. Our talks may be filmed for promotional purposes.

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Is seeing believing? Is believing seeing? How can we hope to conduct experiments on things that only exist within our minds, and, on a related note, can scientists ever be trusted to study deception without being deceived themselves? What can sci... Read More
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