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Executing Magic in the Modern Era: Criminal Bodies and the Gallows in Popular Medicine

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Book Series: Palgrave Historical Studies in the Criminal Corpse and its Afterlife ISBN: 9783319595184 9783319595191 Year: Pages: 118 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-59519-1 Language: English
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Subject: Law
Added to DOAB on : 2017-11-23 15:55:19
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This book explores the magical and medical history of executions from the eighteenth to the early twentieth century by looking at the afterlife potency of criminal corpses, the healing activities of the executioner, and the magic of the gallows site. The use of corpses in medicine and magic has been recorded back into antiquity. The lacerated bodies of Roman gladiators were used as a source of curative blood, for instance. In early modern Europe, a great trade opened up in ancient Egyptian mummies and the fat of executed criminals, plundered as medicinal cure-alls. However, this is the first book to consider the demand for the blood of the executed, the desire for human fat, the resort to the hanged man’s hand, and the trade in hanging rope in the modern era. It ends by look at the spiritual afterlife of dead criminals.

The Psychology of Magic and the Magic of Psychology

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889450084 Year: Pages: 175 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-008-4 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Psychology
Added to DOAB on : 2018-02-27 16:16:44
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Magicians have dazzled audiences for many centuries; however, few researchers have studied how, let alone why, most tricks work. The psychology of magic is a nascent field of research that examines the underlying mechanisms that conjurers use to achieve enchanting phenomena, including sensory illusions, misdirection of attention, and the appearance of mind-control and nuanced persuasion. Most studies to date have focused on either the psychological principles involved in watching and performing magic or “neuromagic” - the neural correlates of such phenomena. Whereas performers sometimes question the contributions that modern science may offer to the advancement of the magical arts, the history of magic reveals that scientific discovery often charts new territories for magicians. In this research topic we sketch out the symbiotic relationship between psychological science and the art of magic. On the one hand, magic can inform psychology, with particular benefits for the cognitive, social, developmental, and transcultural components of behavioural science. Magicians have a large and robust set of effects that most researchers rarely exploit. Incorporating these effects into existing experimental, even clinical, paradigms paves the road to innovative trajectories in the study of human behaviour. For example, magic provides an elegant way to study the behaviour of participants who may believe they had made choices that they actually did not make. Moreover, magic fosters a more ecological approach to experimentation whereby scientists can probe participants in more natural environments compared to the traditional lab-based settings. Examining how magicians consistently influence spectators, for example, can elucidate important aspects in the study of persuasion, trust, decision-making, and even processes spanning authorship and agency. Magic thus offers a largely underused armamentarium for the behavioural scientist and clinician. On the other hand, psychological science can advance the art of magic. The psychology of deception, a relatively understudied field, explores the intentional creation of false beliefs and how people often go wrong. Understanding how to methodically exploit the tenuous twilight zone of human vulnerabilities – perceptual, logical, emotional, and temporal – becomes all the more revealing when top-down influences, including expectation, symbolic thinking, and framing, join the fray. Over the years, science has permitted magicians to concoct increasingly effective routines and to elicit heightened feelings of wonder from audiences. Furthermore, on occasion science leads to the creation of novel effects, or the refinement of existing ones, based on systematic methods. For example, by simulating a specific card routine using a series of computer stimuli, researchers have decomposed the effect to assess its essential elements. Other magic effects depend on meaningful psychological knowledge, such as which type of information is difficult to retain or what changes capture attention. Behavioural scientists measure and study these factors. By combining analytical findings with performer intuitions, psychological science begets effective magic. Whereas science strives on parsimony and independent replication of results, magic thrives on reproducing the same effect with multiple methods to obscure parsimony and minimise detection. This Research Topic explores the seemingly orthogonal approaches of scientists and magicians by highlighting the crosstalk as well as rapprochement between psychological science and the art of deception.

Keywords

Magic --- Psychology --- deception --- Misdirection --- persuasion --- Illusion --- wonder

Performanz und Imagination in der Oralkultur Südosteuropas

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ISBN: 9783205203278 Year: Pages: 600 Seiten DOI: 10.26530/oapen_626331 Language: German
Publisher: Böhlau Grant: Austrian Science Fund - PUB 370
Subject: Performing Arts
Added to DOAB on : 2017-03-30 11:01:20
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This monograpy analyses forms of performativity in the oral cultures of Southeast-Europe, as gestures, masks and disguising, theatrical customs, popular and professional theatre, as well as forms of imagination, like superstitions, magic practices, popular religion, demonology, etc.

Invisible, but how? The depth of unconscious processing as inferred from different suppression techniques

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889194209 Year: Pages: 143 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-420-9 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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To what level are invisible stimuli processed by the brain in the absence of conscious awareness? It is widely accepted that simple visual properties of invisible stimuli are processed; however, the existence of higher-level unconscious processing (e.g., involving semantic or executive functions) remains a matter of debate. Several methodological factors may underlie the discrepancies found in the literature, such as different levels of conservativeness in the definition of “unconscious” or different dependent measures of unconscious processing. In this research topic, we are particularly interested in yet another factor: inherent differences in the amount of information let through by different suppression techniques. In the same conditions of well-controlled, conservatively established invisibility, can we show that some of the techniques in the “psychophysical magic” arsenal (e.g., masking, but also visual crowding, attentional blink, etc.) reliably lead to higher-level unconscious processing than others (e.g., interocular suppression)? Some authors have started investigating this question, using multiple techniques in similar settings . We argue that this approach should be extended and refined. Indeed, in order to delineate the frontiers of the unconscious mind using a contrastive method, one has to disentangle the limits attributable to unawareness itself, and those attributable to the technique inducing unawareness. The scope of this research topic is to provide a platform for scientists to contribute insights and further experiments addressing this fundamental question.

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