Learning Observational Subtleties

Magicians rely on distraction and taking your conscious attention away from the
observational subtleties that would otherwise reveal their tricks. For instance, a
popular party trick involves apparent 'telepathy' with a partner. The audience
chooses an object (size does not matter) in the room while you are out of the room.
You return and with your back turned or blindfolded, your partner points to various
objects in the room. He says, "Is this the object we chose?" You say, "No," until he
points to the target object and you say, "Yes."
The trick can be done in various ways. Your partner and yourself can predesig-
nate ahead of time that when the sixth object is pointed to -- it will be the correct one.
You can vary it by coding the questioning to a different sentence when the correct one
is pointed to. You can do it unblindfolded and agree with your partner ahead of time
that the correct object will be after he points to a chair in the room or after he turns his
pointing pencil around or after he points to something red in the room. Invent other
cued variations between your partner and yourself.
As an exercise, do this trick and let the group know that there is a subtlety that
they are to pick up and repeat the trick the same way until they get it; or have each
person write on a piece of paper what he thinks is the solution and silently review the
papers to determine who got it. Then go to the next variation and proceed the same
way. This exercise keys people into more attention to detail and increases the interest
factor for more correct observational recall.