Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

    We have a manual that explains all the features 

Record number 496530
Title A message from magic to science: seeing how the brain can be tricked may strengthen our thinking
Author(s) Osterblom, H.; Scheffer, M.; Westley, F.R.; Esso, M.L. van; Miller, J.; Bascompte, J.
Source Ecology and Society 20 (2015)4. - ISSN 1708-3087 - 4 p.
Department(s) Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2015
Keyword(s) Art - Cognitive capacity - Cognitive limitations - Conclusion errors - Confirmation bias - Creative thinking - Illusion - Illusionist - Inattentive blindness - Magic - Magician - Priming - Science - Scientific discovery - Selective attention
Abstract Scientific discoveries rely on creative thinking, and several authors have explored similarities in and differences between creativity in the sciences and that in the arts. Here we explore possible ways in which science can learn from the arts, focusing specifically on experiences derived from the art of magic and on the limitations of human cognition. Generations of stage magicians or “illusionists” have made sophisticated use of the weaknesses in human systems of perception and interpretation. We highlight three important principles of magic tricks, including: (1) the audience see what it expects, (2) it is blind to all but the focus of attention, and (3) ideas spring predictably from a primed mind. These principles highlight a number of important tendencies, which we argue are shortcomings in the ability of scientists to perceive the world, and which scientists need to be aware of. Consciously addressing these shortcomings may help scientists improve their creativity, and will strengthen their capacity to address complex and global challenges. © 2015 by the author(s). Published here under license by the Resilience Alliance.
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