A psychic kid...yeah right.
January 17, 2009 4:19 AM   Subscribe

Here's a little video in Arabic of a kid that is playing a game of Pairs. The only thing is that he finds pairs without seeing them beforehand, he take one and just find the other one just by overlooking the chips and never misses.

There must be a trick. I first thought of some same little sign on the backside of each pair.
What pisses me off is that the people on the video are not stopping from blessing God over this and don't even get me started on the comments.
This reminded me of Clever Hans, and I would really now if someone here knows what kind of trick is this. I don't know the origin of the video, seems like some Syrian, Jordanian or Lebanese accent; so it maybe just a pure fabrication for all I know.
Some friends of mine believe this stuff and it just irks me.

PS: didn't know in which category to put this one, so I just put it in Education as it is happening in some kindergarten.
posted by zouhair to Education (6 answers total)
The tiles look kind of worn and dirty. Maybe he just recognizes them from the way they look?

(your question is oddly framed tho. we don't need to know that this irks you to answer it)
posted by ClarissaWAM at 5:48 AM on January 17, 2009

Best answer: There are a few ways that it could be done if the teacher and kid are both in on it. Assuming the teacher thinks it's genuine, though, it must be something to do with what the kid can see - the backs of the tiles.

I'd guess he has played with those tiles *a lot* and simply learned to recognise the different colours, stains, dents and grain patterns on the wooden backs. This sounds wildly difficult, but kids learn much more easily than adults. Also, it gets easier as the trick progresses: there will be a few very distinctive tiles that can be paired easily, so these are flipped first. As he gets to the less distinctively marked tiles the pool of options gets smaller, making it easier and increasing the odds that an educated guess will be correct.

As a kid I did a magic trick that worked on basically the same principle, just with fewer tiles. If you get a few wrong toward the end you can't be blamed because being psychic is hard work. And when people tell the story a few days later, they'll forget about the mistakes and only remember your amazing correct guesses.

FWIF I also get irked when I see people crying "miriacle!" instead of engaging their brains for a few seconds. Seems to be a big part of human nature though... ho hum.
posted by metaBugs at 6:10 AM on January 17, 2009

Given the way he really, REALLY looks at the backs of the tiles for a very long time, I'm wondering if he doesn't recognize the wood grains on the backs of the pairs. It still takes skill, but it is more memorization than some uncanny psychic ability, IMO.
posted by misha at 8:17 AM on January 17, 2009

Yeah, the first controlled test of this would use different tiles, ones that he hadn't seen before.
posted by rokusan at 8:29 AM on January 17, 2009

That is a really annoying-ly edited video. Give me a cup stacker any day!
posted by sevenyearlurk at 9:14 AM on January 17, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks everyone.
posted by zouhair at 7:41 PM on January 17, 2009

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