If you’ve ever watched a show where Derren Brown was able to predict people’s thoughts or even implant ideas in people’s minds, you must have been blown away.
However, there is a much simpler and also a complex explanation to mind reading. This is because there are more simple and complex mind reading techniques yet they all follow the same basic steps.
Not only mentalists and magicians can read people’s minds. Renowned American psychiatrist and psychologist, Milton Erickson was well known for making accurate predictions about people. And not only that, he was also able to implant indirect suggestions in the unconscious mind.
This goes far to show you that mind reading doesn’t involve magic or supernatural influence as you were made to believe. Instead, you would have to focus more on psychology and the power of observation.
Now that, that’s out of the way, let’s dive deeper into how to be a mind reader.
How To Be A Mind Reader
Get Deep Rooted In Psychology
If you’re really serious about being a mind reader, then you need to get read a lot more about human psychology. You need to learn how human beings process information and how they store information.
Before performing a mind reading trick, mentalists or magicians get people to talk about themselves and share a little about their experiences. Here, the performer doesn’t just listen to what they say, but watches their body language and reads their emotions while paying attention to their words.
You might have seen a magician ask everyone in the audience to think of a number and say it within themselves repeatedly. Then out of the blues, he points out someone in the audience and predicts the number they picked.
Some performers can predict the number after calling the person out while others use cards or other materials to guess the number.
Whichever one they go for, they all employ the powers of observation. You may think that the performer picks someone from the audience at random, well they don’t.
While asking the audience to think of a number and say it repeatedly, they focus on individuals who seem to mumble the number or those that make gestures.
In their eyes, these individuals can easily give away clues as to the number that they have chosen without them even knowing it. The performer simply calls them on stage and uses those clues to correctly predict the number.
There are some popular sayings about certain individuals, cultures, races, or people from a particular state. For example, “barbecue is like religion to Texans”.
There are more like universal experiences. Universal experiences is a technique in hypnosis also known as the 7 Ages of Man. It refers to the experiences almost everybody would have to experience at some point in their lives.
In the picture above, you can see how these experiences differ from age group to age group (note that this pictorial mainly applies to Western culture). This picture is more of a guide to help you learn more about a person by just asking them their age and what they for a living.
You can even tell by observing them. Their hair, facial structure, eyes, posture, clothing, fashion choices, body language etc give out a lot of information.
This is something you will learn from psychology but I’ll go ahead and explain it. Most people have a routine that they repeat every day.
Mothers wake up at a certain time of the day to prep their kids up for school and for some, to also get ready for work. People working a 9-5 job also have a routine that allows them to arrive at work early. Repetition can also occur with familiarity.
Let’s say in the USA, you are more likely to come across an eagle than an elephant. So if you’re asked to pick an animal starting with e, you’d go for an eagle.
But if your nursery rhymes keep calling out an elephant as an animal starting with e, you’d definitely think of an elephant more often than an eagle. So you’re more familiar with hearing about an elephant and your brain is going to take that in.
These routines go deep into the brain and encourage repetition. Performers exploit this in a way. For example, the grey elephants from Denmark trick. This trick exploits familiarity and repetition allowing the performer to predict your moves.
Limit Their Options
If you’ve ever noticed, performers usually limit the answers to the questions they ask to Yes or No. In some acts, the questions may allow for a broader answer, however, the most likely answers are also within the performer’s control.
So when a performer is telling their audience to think of a number that he will then predict, he won’t tell them to think from 1 – 100 but rather 1 – 10.
In some cases, however, he could tell them to pick from 1 – 1,000 but use a technique to bring their final options to between 1 – 10.
This is psychology, familiarity, and repetition altogether. When you tell the subject to think of a certain thing, you would want to limit their options not just by telling them to pick between several numbers, but also to suggest the exact number to them.
Milton H. Eriksson also uses suggestions to get the unconscious mind to believe and do things. The same with mentalists like Derren Brown.
Mind Reading Magic Tricks Revealed
These are some basic mind reading tricks that make use of the concepts explained above.
Mentalism Mind Reading Trick
This tutorial is more in-depth. It should help you read the minds of your friends, strangers, or just anybody regardless of what they are thinking of.
Mind Reading Trick With Math
If you’ve been running away from Math since high school because it’s boring, well, here is one fun thing you can do with math.
5 Mind Reading Magic Tricks
This tutorial is packed with everything so you’re sure to learn some new tricks here.