How Selective Attention Can Mind-Bend You Through Magic

How Selective Attention Can Mind-Bend You Through Magic

Your mind is easily deceived which allows magic to work.

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!

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

Popular Right Now

What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.

Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.

Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

The House Show Is At Max Capacity...Now What?

Maybe you won't even get in and see the band you came for.


Most of the house shows in Eugene involve amazing bands, which means that shows could get full! It's only logical.

It's really important to remember that being a kind human is totally acceptable when everyone is stressing about not getting into this show. All of us really want to see these bands and we're just as bummed as you are that we have to wait for someone to leave for us to get in. So, let's try to be understanding of the situation and be nice to each other.

Going along with that, don't be a jerk! When the last house show I was going to reached max capacity, one of the guys from the house started yelling at us all to leave and come back in twenty minutes. He started screaming at the people still hanging around. He even went to the people on the SIDEWALK and started yelling at them and said they didn't have a right to be there. Here's a friendly reminder: you're not allowed to be a jerk because your show is at max capacity. People are hanging around in hopes they'll make it inside, not JUST to make you angry!

Not being able to go to a show SUCKS and waiting to get into a show also sucks. Maybe you won't even get in and see the band you came for. But, maybe you will! And the hope that you will get in is why you stick around, even after someone yells at you. It's the love for the music.

Lastly, I think it's important to note that music can help people through some really difficult times. Music has been helping me through my breakup. Music helps a lot of people. And sometimes, we just really f*cking like a band and love going to their shows.

Related Content

Facebook Comments