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Old 05-02-2011, 08:47 AM
 
1,339 posts, read 2,971,951 times
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Tying this to the NOVA forum simply because I live here and the magician is NOVA-based. Anyway, here goes... ...

I took my son for a birthday party this weekend. Here's a trick that the magician performed, and I'll let you know why I am stumped.

The magician asked for a volunteer helper (from the kids area) and chose a 10-yr old girl (my friend's daughter) saying, "I need someone older for this trick". He blew up a long white balloon, and asked the girl to name her favorite animal. The girl thought for a minute and said, "Bird!". The magician put the white balloon inside a box, burst it, and abracadabra, the box had a white dove!!! The white baloon changing into a white dove doesn't amaze me, but what has obfuscated and amazed me is why and how would a 10-yr old girl say "Bird" when asked to name her favorite animal? And even if she had to say a bird, wouldn't she have said the actual name such as Parrot, Eagle, etc.?

I asked the 10-yr old girl (since she was my friend's daughter) if the magician had asked her to say "Bird" before or during the show, but she replied in the negative. When I asked her why would she say a "Bird" when asked to name a favorite animal, she replied, "I don't know".

Hypnosis is what comes to mind, but I am trying to see if there's any other reasoning. Any suggestions?

Thanks,
K
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Old 05-02-2011, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Clifton, Va
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Would have been interesting if she had said "elephant".
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Old 05-02-2011, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Virginia
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Shhhhh don't give away the hypnosis trick. That's how we convince people moving here to pay boo coo bucks for little houses...
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Old 05-02-2011, 10:06 AM
 
518 posts, read 785,266 times
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Psychology. There are certain ways to lead a person to give the answer you want. I have seen street magicians do things like this before.
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Old 05-02-2011, 10:11 AM
 
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He said he needed an older kid because a younger one would have spilled the beans!
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Old 05-02-2011, 10:32 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robbobobbo View Post
He said he needed an older kid because a younger one would have spilled the beans!
I thought if hypnosis was indeed the method used, then it seemed plausible why he needed an older kid (ability to focus, concentrate, etc.). But since this girl is my friend's daughter, she had no reason to lie to her parents. Also, my friend does not recollect the magician talking to her daughter before the show.
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Old 05-02-2011, 10:35 AM
 
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Originally Posted by gingerbreadgirl View Post
Would have been interesting if she had said "elephant".
See, that I am sure, if she would have said any specific animal, bird or plant, the magician would have somehow guided the conversation so the end result would have been a "white dove" or a "bird". I am just surprised that a 10-yr girl would say "bird" when asked to name a favorite animal. It's not even a correct answer...even if technically all birds belong to the Animal kingdom!!!
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Old 05-02-2011, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
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I think it might be one of those psychology things when you see a magicians hat you think "bird." Perhaps, the older you are, the more likely you are to say bird when looking at a magician's hat (young kids might not associate birds with magician's hats). It may be in the magician's experience that 80% of people will say "bird" when asked their favorite animal while looking at a magician's hat.

Alternatively, perhaps he had some funny small plastic or paper animals that he would have pulled out if she said "elephant." Or perhaps, when the 20% say another animal besides bird, he does a joke about not being able to pull an elephant out, but voila, I got you a bird. Just a thought.
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Old 05-02-2011, 10:49 AM
 
1,339 posts, read 2,971,951 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michgc View Post
I think it might be one of those psychology things when you see a magicians hat you think "bird." Perhaps, the older you are, the more likely you are to say bird when looking at a magician's hat (young kids might not associate birds with magician's hats). It may be in the magician's experience that 80% of people will say "bird" when asked their favorite animal while looking at a magician's hat.

Alternatively, perhaps he had some funny small plastic or paper animals that he would have pulled out if she said "elephant." Or perhaps, when the 20% say another animal besides bird, he does a joke about not being able to pull an elephant out, but voila, I got you a bird. Just a thought.
Along the same line of thought, this is what someone else posted ... ...

Common association. Magicians are usually associated with two animals -rabbits and birds so he had a 50/50 chance of it. Since you don't see them use rabbits very often anymore, she was thinking of birds because she was associating it with a magician. Had someone else asked her she may have said something different. She said something generic for two reasons - she knew he'd pull out a 'bird' not a specific kind and also if someone asked me what my favorite animal was I would probably say 'dog' and not a specific breed.

Look up 'Magic Predictions' to find info on it and more.
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Old 05-02-2011, 10:50 AM
 
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It's easy really. Think of a number between 1 and 100, come on do it.




I can already tell you guys are thinking of the number 69.
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