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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The Science of Magic » » Ideas for a time illusion for a psychology experiment? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Flyswatter
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I was wondering if there are any illusions available today that can somehow make the spectators have any sort of misperception of time. (ie. Estimation of time, time duration judgment, etc.) thanks for any input or ideas.
Pomdini
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I am sure more experienced members would know if there is anything commercially available or if there is anything in the literature.

I am replying to your post because this is an interesting possibility for a psychological effect that I have had some thoughts about developing myself.

You use the word 'illusions", do you mean to have some sort of stage apparatus, or just the creation of psychological illusion?

I am guessing, because you have posted here, that you are more interested with the 'real science' than using a trick method. Have you considered combining the two? a psychological method with a gaff of some sort?
I would love to know where you want to take this. Beyond the time distortion effect, what do you want your audience to experience? What do they see you do, or see on the stage (if you are on stage)? Should they feel uplifted, weird, disturbed?

The science is fairly simple, our perception of time is basically a measure of how safe we feel. When our mind is alert and looking out for danger it has to filter massive amounts of information, most of this is stored in the hypo-campus, which is part of the 'limbic system' or 'primitive brain', this part of the brain evolved early on and is there to protect us from dangerous things. In it's efforts to protect us from harm it will be extra vigilant during times of high stress. So when we feel threatened, or we are imagining threatening situations (remember that the imagination belongs to the higher, more intelligent, and more recently evolved cortex that is clever and powerful and uniquely human, the primitive mind can't tell the difference between our imagination and our reality) our perception of time slows down. This is because the thalamus has to process so much more information. You understand why people often claim that: "it felt like time stopped" when they have experienced trauma.

The opposite is true when we are feeling safe, relaxed and happy. Our brains are super efficient, the mind does not want to waste energy on investigating everything we perceive, so it will filter out a large percentage of our experience. The more familiar and enjoyable our surroundings, the quicker time will seem to pass.

I hope this is useful and that I am not telling you what you already know. I think there is potential here...
“If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place.”-Milton Erickson
Pomdini
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The thought occurs that a good scientific method for a time distortion effect might not actually be an illusion. Much like most science based magic It would effectively be the real thing.
“If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place.”-Milton Erickson
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2012-09-26 10:25, Flyswatter wrote:
I was wondering if there are any illusions available today that can somehow make the spectators have any sort of misperception of time. (ie. Estimation of time, time duration judgment, etc.) thanks for any input or ideas.


There is some work in print on environmental factors on estimation of perceived time. Other work on perception of motion.

perception and cognition
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Pomdini
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I remember reading about an experiment in which participants where placed into different coloured rooms and asked to estimate how long they had been there. The people in the red rooms estimations where longer than those in blue or yellow. Red being the more stressful colour the mind was more alert and slowed down the perception of time passing.
“If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place.”-Milton Erickson
Pomdini
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I remember reading about an experiment in which participants where placed into different coloured rooms and asked to estimate how long they had been there. The people in the red rooms estimations where longer than those in blue or yellow. Red being the more stressful colour the mind was more alert and slowed down the perception of time passing.
“If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place.”-Milton Erickson
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