Every day we all make perceptions of people and the world around us. But perception is a two-way process and most people don't stop to think about the biases inherent in their own perception. What are these cognitive biases and how much can they affect our judgement?
The Amazing Leo Dragon presents a talk on the psychology of all things strange, from magic to psychics, from spoon bending to astrology. A whirlwind tour of why people really jump at the explanations given by the "professionals", with some live magic thrown in along the way.
Ever since records began, in every known society, a substantial proportion of the population has reported unusual experiences many of which we would today label as "paranormal". Opinion polls show that the majority of the general public accepts that paranormal phenomena do occur. Such widespread experience of and belief in the paranormal can only mean one of two things. Either the paranormal is real, in which case this should be accepted by the wider scientific community which currently rejects such claims. Or else belief in and experience of ostensibly paranormal phenomena can be fully explained in terms of psychological factors.