Psychological number force, and some ideas.

Struggling with an effect? Any tips (without giving too much away!) you'd like to share?

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Psychological number force, and some ideas.

Postby Dominic Rougier » Mon Dec 29, 2008 6:28 pm



I'm not sure how close to exposure this is, so feel free to edit/delete/salt the earth so that Naught May Grow as appropriate.

In a FASDIU card routine I'm working on at the moment, the opening element of the main routine is a cards-across effect, actually the "Leap of Faith" Bill Malone/Paul Harris piece from The Art of Astonishment.

Now, in fitting with the style I'm working on at the moment, the routine is very hands-off, it's almost like card magic being performed by a mentalist (which I do more of)

I've already pattered about not claiming any supernormal abilities, how the real skill is with misdirection and control of perceptions, and since you can control perceptions, you can direct and control how someone is thinking. (which you can, of course, for a given value of "true")

Therefore, after the two spectators have counted their (10) cards in their hands, I ask someone else, casually, to name a number between one and five in the classic psychological force sense.

Generally they choose three, and therefore we have a miracle (three cards leap from one hand to the other), and in 30-40 performances of this I've missed three times only.

Now. My current out is to mess around with their response - so if they say "4" I'd say "no no, lower than that" etc. until I've forced 3. Since the question was off-hand, and I've talked about control, I can reiterate "See... it's all about control" to the other spectators, and they chuckle. All well and good, and we progress with the routine, still on friendly terms.

BUT

I had a thought, which is always a bad sign.

Every time it's failed (which is only thrice, which is why I mention this) they have always said "4" (and I've asked for a lower number), followed by "2" (then a higher number), and then, begrudgingly "3".

I'd love to know if this is a common experience, because if so, the routine could progress as above, but after the mirth diminishes, an index card or whatever could be produced predicting that they would choose 4, followed by 2, followed by 3... which is a little like having your cake and eating it, as you've done the sleights, forced the number, got a laugh and predicted how they were thinking.

Trouble is, with the above the sample size is going to be pretty small. I'll probably come up with something else to help me test this, but I'd thought I'd throw it open to the rest of you in the hopes that anyone else may have the same success rate.

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Postby MentalistBen » Mon Dec 29, 2008 10:09 pm

The number force you mentioned can be improved on in performances.

You can improve the chances by asking it suddenly and having them think quickly. It should be the first one they think of. I saw banachek performing a number force by quickly saying to them, "Think of one of these numbers, lock it into your mind." This way they quickly think of one and "lock it into" their mind. By using those words he makes sure they think of one quicky, and stick with it. Having them think of one quicly and stick with it is the best way to perform it. You can also look at this link to see Banachek performing a number force

Psychologial Subtlties 1 and 2 go over in detail these sorts of things.


These are the best ways to improve your chances. :D


:wink: -Ben

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Postby Dominic Rougier » Mon Dec 29, 2008 10:25 pm

Oh certainly, but then I'm already hitting 90-93% on the force as it stands...

Most of the data above come from running the routine briefly mentioned above at a couple of Christmas parties, each two or three hours. Which was exhausting, obviously.

It's more the 4-2-3 alternative choices, in that order, given the input above.

I suppose it makes logical sense, assuming 4 is the next chosen number, they're not going to go to three, or one, as you've said "between 1 and 5" and "lower than 4". "Lower than 4" and "between 1 and..." leaves two or three, and if you're asked to go lower, I'd assume you'd not want to go a single digit lower?

Hmmm.

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Re: Psychological number force, and some ideas.

Postby Strep » Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:32 am

DominicRougier wrote:Every time it's failed (which is only thrice, which is why I mention this) they have always said "4" (and I've asked for a lower number), followed by "2" (then a higher number), and then, begrudgingly "3".

I'd love to know if this is a common experience, because if so, the routine could progress as above, but after the mirth diminishes, an index card or whatever could be produced predicting that they would choose 4, followed by 2, followed by 3... which is a little like having your cake and eating it, as you've done the sleights, forced the number, got a laugh and predicted how they were thinking.


You've answered your own question. Each time it's failed they've always gone for 4,2,3. Having an index card or better still, a huge rolled up poster with the order on would demonstrate beautifully your control of their perception. It can be left rolled up or on the reverse side of an A frame or something if you hit most of the time and only be brought into play for the odd occasion when they miss.

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Postby Renato » Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:55 am

If it's part of a routine then this probably isn't the idea to follow, but were you to perform it standalone it might be an idea to use twenty blank-faced cards and on their faces print something like: CHOOSE 4 THEN 2, BEFORE 3, one letter (and punctuation mark) per card.

A little bit of experimenting and the ordering of the cards at the outset so that they spell the coherent message at the conclusion will become apparent.

Just had a look at the exact handling (it's very good) and so feel free to ignore the above as it requires cards being turned face-up which would spoil the kicker ending.

Still, might be worth bearing in mind if you ever switch to a handling in which the cards are kept face-down!

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Postby Duplicity » Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:27 pm

Well, there's lots of ways. As you mention the numbers, count them out and fade out as you say 3. If they say 4, then its equivoque time, and say "ok, let's imagine that 4 is here *mime it a little like bowling pins* and lets get rid or split the numbers into two groups...1-3, and 4-5..." as a badly and hastily thought out example. But I'm sure you know what i mean. If you don't want to do the poster thing. PW or NW their response on something suitable. Then claim your "mind control" was unfair - and ask them to pick "properly" this time.

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Postby cragglecat » Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:13 pm

I saw Juan Tamariz verbally forcing a 3 and his approach was, simple, funny but effective. He simply said, "name your favourite number between 1 and 5". The person said 4 - his response? "yes well mine's three so lets go with that!". Made me laugh and it did the job but not exactly subtle! :lol:

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Postby Dominic Rougier » Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:17 pm

That's fantastic :)

I haven't (seen/read/absorbed through osmosis) nearly enough Tamariz

Your reality, sir, is lies and balderdash, and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever.
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Postby Robbie » Thu Jan 01, 2009 1:05 pm

Does it have to be between 1 and 5? Ask them to choose a number between 1 and 4.

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Postby Tomo » Thu Jan 01, 2009 4:27 pm

How about using two forcing matrices and subtracting one from the other?

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Postby 12foot » Wed Jul 07, 2010 3:24 am

So funny...I kno its an old post, but this trick is the exact reason i googled how to force some1 to say "3", which brought me here..... Ive tried all the above..(exept the favorite number 1)....maybe say " think of an odd number between 1and 5" LOL.. or even between 1 and ten, they will say 7 or 3, both usable numbers for the trick...u could force a three to start with...i dunno...must be a way

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Postby Jean » Wed Jul 07, 2010 3:55 am

Well thats definitely an introduction of sorts.

Invoke not reason. In the end it is too small a deity.
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Postby Bertoneski » Wed Jul 07, 2010 8:10 pm

"I see a honeybee, sitting in a tree, smiling back at me now give a number bigger than one smaller than five it's a little roundy ......."

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Postby SamGurney » Wed Jul 07, 2010 8:35 pm

If it fails, make a joke about it.. what was it I heard Mark Lewis saying.. ah yes:
'Five? No between one and five, and make it odd too' :lol:

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Postby Jean » Thu Jul 08, 2010 3:47 am

If they always pick four when they don't pick three, just eliminate it by using it in the explanation. 'Pick a number between 1 and 5. Whatever you pick we'll go with, so if you pick four we'll move four cards.'

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