What scam artists can teach us about the human brain


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/01/26/what-scam-artists-can-teach-us.html


#2

Obligatory reading:

Macknik, S., Mac King, J., Robbins, A., Teller, J., and Martinez-Conde, S. (2008). Attention and awareness in stage magic: turning tricks into research. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 9(11):871–879.


#3

The brain defaults to trust. They take advantage of that.

Most of them are masters at guiding your attention where they want it to go.


#4

One of the past grand masters of exposing scams was James Randi, aka The Amazing Randi. He’s a stage magician who put up a $1 million prize for scientifically testable proof of extrasensory abilities. Despite a lot of attempts (and howling from those who got exposed as fakes), no one has collected.


#5

When I was a kid, he was one of my favorites when he was a guest on Mike Douglas or Carson. I think the check was less than a million then… :slight_smile:


#6

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.