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See Hear - Shifty Thoughts

03 Apr, 2017

You Can't Believe What You See

In my workshops, etc. I quite often demonstrate that we cannot believe what we see but we see what we believe. In this short video of the “McGurk Effect" you can experience this by observing that what your eyes see can influence what your ears hear. This is a strange illusion that even when you know what is happening, the effect does not change.

What is happening here is that your eyes can see which syllables are being mouthed, and even though the sound being made is “bar”, you see my mouth forming “far”, and that is what you hear. Although the reality is you are only ever hearing “bar”, your belief created by what you are seeing overrides what you are hearing, creating the illusion and making you hear “far” instead. What you are seeing will override the rest of your senses.

To learn more about what we do, please go to Psychological Artistry

Small Shifts – Big Movements

The good news is that we can learn from this. We have infinite brain plasticity, so we can change, grow and develop new skills. We advocate using this to create new thinking patterns and skills.

We use this and other illusions to give us insights and to develop techniques you can use to increase your perceptual acuity. This in turn adds to your skill of being able to mentally adjust your perceptions. Every skill we add can double of chances of success. We have found that working with illusions provides us will valuable insights into how :-

  • Our brains work
  • We perceive
  • We think
  • We learn
  • We make decisions
  • We problem solve

Understanding our environment, the perceptual clues and the perspectives we get from it is a very important skill. The question becomes - do you succumb to your environment or do you control it? Controlling it requires us to go through the stages of:

  • Understanding it, gaining insights
  • Applying Techniques
  • Developing skills.

Gaining Insights

This is what much of my work has been about:

  • Showing not telling, gaining insights from illusions, magic, mentalism etc
  • Applying techniques, frameworks, models etc. drawn from neuroscience, behavioral insights, psychology and experience.
  • Developing skills through smart deliberate practice and focused exercises (making full use of our brain plasticity)

To learn more about our techniques, please go to Psychological Artistry

We are all far from perfect and we all continue to grow and learn every day. By applying what we have learnt, using some of the shortcuts we have found interesting and effective to your practices and ideas, you can add extra skills to your portfolio.

In our next Psychological Artistry workshop (being held in Birmingham on 3rd May) we explore these and other ideas. On this day, we look at valuable lessons we can learn from mentalism and illusions and capture an array of techniques, frameworks and models that can be built into skills that will benefit you and those you interact with. As well as having some fun.

See more information at Psychological Artistry



07970 480 615

P.S. Our next Psychological Artistry day is on 3rd May at the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce. To find out more about the day and what we do, please go to Psychological Artistry

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About Author: George Rowley

George works with psychological artistry, a blend of psychology, behavioral sciences and mind magic to entertain, improve people’s lives, work towards greater inclusion and increase business opportunities. He does this through training, coaching delivering workshops and presentations. He has been working with individuals, small practices and organisations including extensive projects within the NHS.

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