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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The Science of Magic » » Heads or Tails (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Mariobava
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Hello.

I have researched and cannot find any psychological statistics suggesting if a person is likely to select heads or tails when asked the question.

Somewhere I believe I have read that people will be more influenced to say 'heads' upon when first ask however I know you can force the response you want no matter what.

Does anybody know if heads is more likely to be chosen first and if so where did they get that info from? also is their an easy way to classic force this on somebody?

saying heads in a louder tone?, slower? etc.

Either way it doesn't matter that much howeverto mae things flow more naturally I would like to go with the most probable outcome for a certain effect.

Your thoughts?
darshwood
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Though I have no statistics to back this up... intuition tells me that heads would be most likely chosen of the two. In my opinion, it's kind of like when you offer a card selection to someone from a spread, they are more likely to choose from the middle.

The same type of person that would choose from either close to the top or close to the bottom (you know these people) are the ones that would choose tails. I call it a resistive personality. These are the type of people that try to go against the grain... non-conformists.

I doubt there is any way to effectively force someone to choose heads or tails but you can control the flip of any decent size coin to end up on the side of your choosing. Jay Noblezada teaches this... it's a fun little gag I often pull on people.
jugglestruck
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Whenever I've asked people the majority go for heads but not with enough certainty to wager something on the outcome.
tbaer
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I'm going to go with heads...let me get my 2-headed coin.
barrychilds
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As is often the case in Magic, You can always have a spectacular trick ready for all those 'heads' people (which is 90%) but another trick prepaired which simply relies on the flip of a coin.
Bob1Dog
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When you get down to basic statistics in a random population, the choice of heads or tails is still a 50-50 proposition.
What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about? Smile

My neighbor rang my doorbell at 2:30 a.m. this morning, can you believe that, 2:30 a.m.!? Lucky for him I was still up playing my drums.
jugglestruck
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Quote:
On 2011-10-02 00:03, Bob1Dog wrote:
When you get down to basic statistics in a random population, the choice of heads or tails is still a 50-50 proposition.


I guess that is true but on an individual level some people will ALWAYS go for heads and some ALWAYS for tails. In my experience I have found heads to be the most commonly opted for side.
Iris Caraway
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I once won a dollar from choosing heads four times out of five flips. I have a crazy theory that a quarter has an aerodynamic tendency to land tails up. This has no basis in reality, but I'm sure people would believe you if you explained it in a straight-enough face.
vinh31
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According to scientific study, it is more likely to land on the same face it started. (until another study disproves it)
http://www.physorg.com/news175267656.html
A quick google fight (number of results on google) "coin heads" vs "coin tails" gives 2~3 more results for heads. I know this is not accurate, but I'm sure it gives an indication of some sorts.
Decomposed
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Quote:
On 2011-12-22 08:20, vinh31 wrote:
According to scientific study, it is more likely to land on the same face it started. (until another study disproves it)
http://www.physorg.com/news175267656.html
A quick google fight (number of results on google) "coin heads" vs "coin tails" gives 2~3 more results for heads. I know this is not accurate, but I'm sure it gives an indication of some sorts.


Interesting, thanks for posting that.

Decomp
Simon Southern Moss
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You can slightly increase the likelihood of people saying heads by referring only to heads (e.g., "Would you like to choose heads or not"?)--using the psychological principle called anchoring and adjustment
ClintonMagus
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Quote:
On 2012-07-18 08:59, Simon Southern Moss wrote:
You can slightly increase the likelihood of people saying heads by referring only to heads (e.g., "Would you like to choose heads or not"?)--using the psychological principle called anchoring and adjustment


... and maybe if you ask "Would you like tails or heads"...
Things are more like they are today than they've ever been before...
link8822
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There was another study that was shown on Penn & Teller: Tell a Lie, where if you spin a penny it's more likely to land tails up.
joesquire
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Definitely there's a general bias towards calling heads. I wouldn't get too tricky with verbal subterfuge as if you change the wording too much, people start to think (and that's bad!)

The old "heads or tails" is so common, so well known, so comfortable that the the quick "heads" response is so easily accessible, the brain just grabs it and goes with it. You want them to answer as automatically as possible.

As an "out" it might be worth buying a coin with two TAILS on it. Or just learn how to flip whichever side you want (via a false throw)

Alternatively, you can mark the coin so it can be felt and give it a genuine throw. When it lands in the hand, you either flip it onto your arm or not - depending on the outcome.
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