Perception: The interpretation and organization of stimuli. Perception is influenced by an assortment of factors, including the intensity of the stimulus, the activities preceding stimulation, past experience, and the motivation and emotional state of the individual.
The above definition is from the website of Psychology Today, but who would have thought that a magician makes his living by fooling our powers of perception. When someone watches a magic show, it is inevitable that they will be sitting on the edge of their seat trying to uncover the magician's secrets. We thought we saw a wire, a trap door or a mirror, but how did he do that? You thought you saw what you thought you saw, but you can't concentrate with all of the lights, music and the lovely assistant.
The shows usually begin in the same manner, all the lights go out. The magician has really just performed his first trick; he has manipulated our visual perception. When it is completely dark in an auditorium full of people, it is very exciting and suspenseful. We know that something is about to happen and it is going to be magical. When the lights come on and the handsome magician strolls onto the stage, everyone is watching him. Does he have something up his sleeve, under his hat or palmed in his hand? His trickery continues and he has not even started his act yet. While we are watching the magician, nobody sees the lovely assistant stage left shoving the rabbit in the hat or climbing into a trap door of a large box.
Perhaps the magician is performing some simple card tricks, rabbit out of the hat and the endless handkerchief from his pocket. Suddenly there is a big rumble stage left and all eyes are diverted to the lovely assistant rolling out the big box with clear sides and a shiny black satin cloth draped over it. As the music plays loudly, the lights flash, and all of the audience is conversing over what...