Colour-Changing Card Trick

This trick is quite an interesting little demonstration of misdirection. I shan't say more, so as to not give it away, but keep your eyes peeled - there is more to this than just one trick.
(Thanks, Nettie and David B.)

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Posted on Thu May 10, 2007


That was great. I didnt even notice all the other changes.I goes to show how people are tricked though. Its all about misdirection. They get you to focus on the wrong thing to trick you.
Posted by red_dragon_girl_69  in  Earth, I think  on  Thu May 10, 2007  at  09:21 AM
Very cool indeed.

I "fell" for it.
Posted by zoo  on  Thu May 10, 2007  at  09:39 AM
Somewhat off-topic, but if you watch some of the real good Monty Python skits, they were very clever at manipulating what you see. One skit I remember was a WWI scene, where an injured soldier was talking; the director cuts in and tells everyone else to get off the scene. At this point, always in plain sight, were people like nuns, who walked off the scene. They were always there, but the director was able to keep your attention away from them until he wanted you to notice them.
Posted by Very good  on  Thu May 10, 2007  at  10:00 AM
The visual phenomenon at work here is called "change blindness." We often fail to notice unexpected changes to an object, even if we're staring right at it. In Elephants on Acid, I actually write about a set of experiments that very nicely demonstrated this phenomenon. In one experiment, the researchers approached people on a college campus to ask for directions. Suddenly workmen walked between the two of them, and during this distraction the researchers switched places with his colleague. Over half of the people they were talking to never noticed they were suddenly talking to a new person.

In another experiment, the researchers asked people to watch a video of people throwing a basketball around, and count how many times the people dressed in white passed the ball. Again, over half the people who watched the video didn't notice the very unusual event that happened during the video. You can watch the video for yourself and see if you notice the unusual event. Go to the following link and click on the "basketball video" link:
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Thu May 10, 2007  at  10:44 AM
There is actually one more very funny thing in the video that passes most people by - it passed me by until someone pointed it out.
Posted by Dave Rattigan  on  Thu May 10, 2007  at  11:30 AM
Richard Wiseman's great, but it hardly count as "misdirection" if the camera is moving to completely block the thing that's being changed.
Posted by Kevan Davis  on  Thu May 10, 2007  at  12:19 PM
I was watching to see if I could spot how the trick worked (I could), so only spotted two of the four.

And that bloke from the 'basket video' get's about a bit doesn't he? (Or did no-one else spot him in the background during the card trick's reveal shot?)
Posted by David B.  on  Thu May 10, 2007  at  12:50 PM
I didn't notice the guy changing his shirt, but I did notice the girl. I thought that it meant the thing had been taped two seperate days or something. I was like "If they were trying to trick us, couldn't they be bothered with having her dress the same the next shoot?"

I didn't notice the tablecloth either, but I did notice the background, which was the most obvious of the changes.
Posted by Sakano  in  Ohio  on  Thu May 10, 2007  at  01:04 PM
maybe misdirection is the wrong word then. But still, I didnt notice any of the other changes. I was paying too much attention to the cards. Though I had the feeling I would already know how it worked had it been an actual sleight of hand trick, and not a throw you off type trick.
Posted by red_dragon_girl_69  in  Earth, I think  on  Thu May 10, 2007  at  01:25 PM
I suppose since I was expecting something other than the obvious trick, I got them all. But that's only because I was ignoring the card trick itself.
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Fri May 11, 2007  at  09:34 AM
In relation to Alex's 'Elephants on Acid' example above, Derren Brown once did a similar trick to people in the street where he'd ask them for directions and as they showed him on his map a couple of guys carrying a massive board (appropriately with Derren's face on it) between them.

Naturally, Derren moved away behing the board while his replacement who moved into position the same way followed on as if they were indeed the one asking for directions. And the people never noticed.

Even when Derren Brown turned into a woman. And a black guy.
Posted by Renquist  in  Glasgow, Scotland  on  Fri May 11, 2007  at  11:12 AM
I noticed the background change at first. Took the second time through to see the others.
Posted by Yaanu  on  Fri May 11, 2007  at  07:18 PM
I believe 'misdirection' is correct.
The point of the video is to make you concentrate on the card trick. That way you don't notice the changes in the other parts.

I've been told there's another thing besides the changes.

I assume that's the gorilla. (highlight gap to see)
I just originally assumed they were filming it in a prop room...
Posted by Boo  in  The Land of the Haggii...  on  Fri May 11, 2007  at  10:02 PM
James Randi's website,, has a link to this video this week, possibly because I sent it to him from this site (although others may have done so as well).

Figures a magician would be interested in this, huh? By the way, I'm ashamed to say that I didn't notice ANY of the changes because I was watching the card trick closely.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Sat May 12, 2007  at  04:23 AM
Candid Camera once asked people at a T-shaped city intersection which way was north. No one got it correct and pointed into the store behind them.
Posted by Phred22  on  Sat May 12, 2007  at  10:02 AM
I had noticed the girl's shirt...I just assumed it was multiple takes & she'd changed or something...and I wasn't sure WHAT had changed later...but I thought it looked "lighter" than before. (The table cloth & background were no longer the very dark colors...) I wasn't really sure what was just FELT different, really. 😊

I was suspicious when they didn't show the whole, "What are they hiding exactly?" But then that was explained later & I felt better.
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Sun May 13, 2007  at  10:36 PM
I fell for it completely. Also, after watching this I went to work, and was so busy wondering why the front doors had been removed (having come in through the back door) that I didn't notice that I had walked straight through the gate at reception without opening it, it having also been removed to make way for work on the floor...
Posted by Owen  on  Tue May 15, 2007  at  04:54 PM
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