Cognitive Style Predicts Magical Beliefs

Giorgio Gronchi, Jeffrey C. Zemla, Marco Brondi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Magicians often rely on misdirection to fool their audience. A common way to achieve this is for the magician to provide a plausible and intuitive (but false) account of how an effect is performed in order to prevent spectators from uncovering the truth. We hypothesized that analytical thinkers would be more likely than intuitive thinkers to seek alternative explanations when observing a mental magic effect because generating a coherent explanation requires analytical thought. We found that while intuitive thinkers often espoused explanations for a magic trick similar to one provided by the magician, analytical thinkers tended to generate new explanations that echoed rational principles and relied on physical mechanisms (rather than mental capabilities). This difference was not predicted by differences in numeracy skills or need for cognition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCogSci 2017 - Proceedings of the 39th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society
Subtitle of host publicationComputational Foundations of Cognition
PublisherThe Cognitive Science Society
Pages2138-2143
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780991196760
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event39th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society: Computational Foundations of Cognition, CogSci 2017 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: Jul 26 2017Jul 29 2017

Publication series

NameCogSci 2017 - Proceedings of the 39th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society: Computational Foundations of Cognition

Conference

Conference39th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society: Computational Foundations of Cognition, CogSci 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityLondon
Period7/26/177/29/17

Keywords

  • cognitive style
  • CRT
  • dual process theory of reasoning
  • misdirection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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