Self-Motivation
David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Actor
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Management
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
Learn
from the world's big
thinkers
Start Learning

Human Psychology

Question: Why do people like being fooled by you?

 

Gerard Senehi: I think people are fascinated by the psychic dimension or the paranormal because it represents...It’s a metaphor for what more might be possible and I don’t think it’s inherently where the answer lies for us there are possibilities for humanity lies in psychic abilities but I think it’s a metaphor for that other things are possible, that things are deeper than they appear on the surface, that there’ a lot more and that’s why it’s always so fascinating.

That’s why also in times of crises people sometimes go back to their, you know it’s an easy place to look for deeper meaning or higher possibilities or greater possibilities and it’s not necessarily where we’ll find it but it’s the first place, one of the first places to look.

 

Question: Has there been a psychic shift since the start of the financial crisis?

 

Gerard Senehi: I don’t feel that people are [IB] pressing more. I mean, when I perform it’s it’s…it impacts people. People have strong reactions to it so I don’t feel that people’s responses has deferred. There’s perhaps new opportunities that are opening up because maybe because there is more interest in media but from people them selves I haven; felt the difference.

 

Question: Do your performances frighten people? How do people react to your performances?

 

Gerard Senehi: People are rarely scared by what I do. Occasionally, I’ve had somebody be caught off guard and get upset because they just couldn’t understand it and they show the visible kind of response. That’s rare because I also approach what I do in a very light-hearted way. It’s a playful kind of mess with your mind kind of quality.

I think it’s more when something just unexpected happens, that’s what’s most shocking for people and they can pop up at any point during my performances like it’s completely unexpected and that’s what catches people and makes them all of a sudden kind of step back and go, “What? Did that really happen? What did I just see?”

So it’s more the unexpected component rather the specific thing that I do. There was one time where I performed a miracle but because it was kind of expected it hardly had any impact and then I remember a few seconds later doing something more simple and then realizing that I have a much bigger impact as it was like.

 

Recorded on: June 4, 2009

 

The mentalist know how people react when faced with the inexplicable.

LIVE ON MONDAY | "Lights, camera, activism!" with Judith Light

Join multiple Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress Judith Light live on Big Think at 2 pm ET on Monday.

Big Think LIVE

Add event to calendar

AppleGoogleOffice 365OutlookOutlook.comYahoo

Keep reading Show less

Study details the negative environmental impact of online shopping

Frequent shopping for single items adds to our carbon footprint.

Photo by George Frey/Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • A new study shows e-commerce sites like Amazon leave larger greenhouse gas footprints than retail stores.
  • Ordering online from retail stores has an even smaller footprint than going to the store yourself.
  • Greening efforts by major e-commerce sites won't curb wasteful consumer habits. Consolidating online orders can make a difference.
Keep reading Show less

Childhood sleeping problems may signal mental disorders later in life

Chronic irregular sleep in children was associated with psychotic experiences in adolescence, according to a recent study out of the University of Birmingham's School of Psychology.

Personal Growth
  • We spend 40 percent of our childhoods asleep, a time for cognitive growth and development.
  • A recent study found an association between irregular sleep patterns in childhood and either psychotic experiences or borderline personality disorder during teenage years.
  • The researchers hope their findings can help identify at-risk youth to improve early intervention.
  • Keep reading Show less

    Neom, Saudi Arabia's $500 billion megacity, reaches its next phase

    Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.

    Credit: Neom
    Technology & Innovation
    • The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
    • The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
    • It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
    Keep reading Show less

    Why do people believe in conspiracy theories?

    Are we genetically inclined for superstition or just fearful of the truth?

    Videos
    • From secret societies to faked moon landings, one thing that humanity seems to have an endless supply of is conspiracy theories. In this compilation, physicist Michio Kaku, science communicator Bill Nye, psychologist Sarah Rose Cavanagh, skeptic Michael Shermer, and actor and playwright John Cameron Mitchell consider the nature of truth and why some groups believe the things they do.
    • "I think there's a gene for superstition, a gene for hearsay, a gene for magic, a gene for magical thinking," argues Kaku. The theoretical physicist says that science goes against "natural thinking," and that the superstition gene persists because, one out of ten times, it actually worked and saved us.
    • Other theories shared include the idea of cognitive dissonance, the dangerous power of fear to inhibit critical thinking, and Hollywood's romanticization of conspiracies. Because conspiracy theories are so diverse and multifaceted, combating them has not been an easy task for science.

    Quantcast