Has magic ever made you wonder, "Oh my God, how did they do that?" Well right now, you're at the right place to discover why. Magic is a visual disguise that tricks the viewers mind and makes the audience see only what the magician wants them to see. This is done usually by diverting attention to one object or hand while the magician does the trick with the part the viewer is not focused on. In psychology, selective attention is based on how the mind works and perceives info, explaining how our minds focus attention on one aspect and is able to block out all external factors. For example, when you're reading a book or watching a movie, you are not consciously aware of your surroundings since all your attention is in the reading or film. Another example is when if you stare at an object for long enough without blinking, objects around your central focal point seem to disappear.
So, how does magicians use this in this tricks? Check out the segment below at 1:00 to watch the trick!
Here, the magician seems to remove the cap of the lip balm and place it in his pocket. When he quickly brings the lip balm up near his mouth, the cap reappears on the top. This leaves the viewers in awe as to how this was even humanely possible. The secret to this is easy, the magician simply manipulated your mind and used sleight of hand. When he pulls the the lip balm back and seems to hold it in his other hand by cupping his hand, the viewers divert their attention to the hand which supposedly contains the cap, while he puts it in his pocket. In reality, the cap was in the original hand and placed in a secret position with a grip. The attention being diverted made it easier for the magician to cover himself up and easily bring the cap back up with sleight of hand.
With selective attention, the viewers' mind is diverted to what the magician wants you to see and not really what's happening. Next time you see magic, try paying attention to everything in detail and not what the magician outwardly portrays in order to figure out the trick!