Scientific Study of Magic: Binet's Pioneering Approach Based on Observations and Chronophotography

Cyril Thomas, André Didierjean, Serge Nicolas
2016 American Journal of Psychology  
Telephone number : +33 (0)3 81 66 51 92 Fax number : +33 (0)3 81 66 54 40 C. Thomas et al. 2 Abstract In 1894, the French psychologist Alfred Binet published an article entitled "The Psychology of Prestidigitation" that reported the results of a study conducted in collaboration with two of the best magicians of that period. By using a new method and new observation techniques, Binet was able to reveal some of the psychological mechanisms involved in magic tricks. Our article begins by
more » ... begins by presenting Binet's method and the principal professional magicians that participated in his studies. Next, we present the main psychological "tools" of magicians described by Binet and look at some recent studies dealing with those mechanisms. Finally, we take a look at the innovative technique used by Binet for his study on magic: the chronophotograph. Word count: 126 words
doi:10.5406/amerjpsyc.129.3.0313 fatcat:mbquz4e2kzb6ldtikezz5pnsd4