6 Amazing Mind Tricks to Play on Your Friends
The ways that human psychology, physiology and subjective behavior works is fascinating and offers some intriguing principles which can be a lot of fun to play with.
If you don't believe me, consider how magicians and illusionists entertain their audience by fooling their audience's perception thereby making it seem like the impossible is happening. We know we've been fooled but rather than think critically about it and try to work out the logic behind how it was achieved, we are entertained and amused by it and we allow ourselves to be fooled by it for the sake of entertainment.
Mentalists, hypnotists and psychological illusionists take things a step further and trick the mind by using a combination of psychology, physiology, suggestion and logic. By utilizing these principles, there are a small variety of "mind tricks" which can be carried out very easily on your family and friends which can be a lot of fun to play with for all those involved.
Here are some of the easier mind tricks to carry out. Some you can carry out alone, others require at least one other person. These tricks can be good fun to test with your family and friends.
1. Sticky Fingers
This one can be done alone, or with another person. First, you need to clasp your hands together. Not together as though you are praying but interlock your fingers and bend them, as though you would if you were holding someone's hand. You then put your two index fingers (forefingers) out straight, leaving a small gap between them (so they are not touching) whilst keeping your hands clasped together and the rest of your fingers interlocked.
Usually, what you'll find after just a few seconds is that your index fingers will slowly start closing in on each other until eventually they touch. This is an automatic response and can only be avoided by purposely making the effort which is actually more difficult than you would expect. When asking another person to do this , you can pretend to tie an invisible piece of string around their index fingers thereby giving them the illusion that you are doing it. The principle behind how this trick works is ideomotor movement (or ideomotion).
2. The Pendulum
Another simple mind trick based on ideomotion is the pendulum. You can make a pendulum by tying a coin or a key to a piece of string. One common myth is that the gender of an unborn child can be predicted by swinging a pendulum above a pregnant mother's womb. Obviously, such a technique would be useless in recent times (even if it did work) due to the fact that we can now do this with ultrasound anyway.
Another popular trick with the pendulum is to assign "yes" to clockwise and "no" to anti-clockwise and then ask the pendulum questions. Of course, all the movements are a result of ideomotion and are carried out subconsciously but this very same principle could in fact be used to turn the pendulum into a lie detector!
Simply ask your friend or family member to hold the pendulum and ask them a question but to only answer in their mind. If they hold that answer in their mind, the pendulum will usually begin to rotate either clockwise or anti-clockwise based on their answer. They are actually moving the pendulum themselves, they just don't consciously realize it. Real lie detectors (polygraph machines) work in a similar way.
3. Visions Of Jesus
This one's a pretty cool optical illusion that you can try alone and then try with all your friends. It's also one well worth experiencing.
To see this optical illusion, you need the image to the right. Notice that there is a line of dots near the middle of the image. What you need to do is focus on and stare at those three dots for between thirty to sixty seconds non-stop.
Once you're done staring at the dots, close your eyes and put your head back making sure to keep your eyes firmly shut (but don't strain them tight).
Within a few seconds, Jesus will miraculously appear right in front of you! The longer you keep your eyes shut, the more pronounced and detailed the image should become until it eventually begins to fade away.
4. Sinking Into The Floor
Get your friend to lie face down on the floor with their arms stretched out in front of them. They should remain completely relaxed. You then lift their forearms up to about your waist level and hold them there for between thirty to sixty seconds.
After that, you slowly begin to lower their arms towards the floor which then makes them feel like they are literally free-falling straight through the floor. The other person will usually call out just before they think they're going to hit the floor!
5. Mind-Reading (1)
The "carrot" trick is quite a popular and effective one but don't question why or how it works. It just does! Write down the word "carrot" on a piece of paper. Give it to your friend but tell them not to look at it... yet. Let them hold on to it so they know there's no cheating going on.
Next, ask them "what's 1+1?" and wait for them to answer. Ask "what's 2+2?" and wait for them to answer. Keep going until you get to 8+8? After they answer, ask them to name a vegetable. 90% of the time they will think of a carrot and voila, your answer is already there on the piece of paper you gave them!
6. Mind-Reading (2)
This is quite a popular one. Get someone to think of a number between one and ten. Once they've selected, tell them to multiply that number by nine. If they are then thinking of a number with two digits, tell them to add those two digits together. Then tell them to subtract five.
Next, tell them to assign a letter of the alphabet to that number where A=1, B=2, C=3, etc. Tell them to think of a country beginning with that letter, then to think of an animal using the second letter of the country they are thinking of. Then tell them to think of the color of that animal.
You then tell them that they're thinking of a grey elephant from Denmark (which is usually the case, although smarter people can come up with answers which are a little more imaginative on the rare occasion).
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