The web-site is now in readonly mode. Login and registration are disabled. (28 June 2019)

Presentation: Magical expertise – development to a magician from apprentice to a master

Olli Rissanen, University of Eastern Finland Magical expertise – development to a magician...

Cloud created by:

Gráinne Conole
3 May 2010

Olli Rissanen, University of Eastern Finland

Magical expertise – development to a magician from apprentice to a master

SNA of finnish magicians

Interview for expert performance magician

Analysis of 2 apprentice master pairs working

What is magic?

Producing a sense of wonder in the spectator – performance of magic requires a method to achieve the effect.

Successful magic relies on the spectator experiencing an effect while being unaware of the method

One of central aims is to prevent audience from detecting the method

Number of strategies -  Misdirection, forcing and illusion (optical, cognitive)

Several hundred magicians in Finland and some have international recognition

Sustained processes of personal coaching and mentoring between masters and novices play a crucial role in transmission of higher level expertise in the field

Magicians exceptional competences appear mysterious and hard to understand for the outsider

  • What kind of social structures mediate the Finnish magicians' network community>?
  • To what extent may structure of the magical network community be explained by combining social and inviidual aspecs of expertise?

Participants (N =148 were asked, 120 replies)

Questions abot networking dimensions - who they got advice and guidance from, who they appreciated as a perfoming magician, whom did they collaborate with, who do they think are influential?

SNA using UCINET6 programm (Borgatti, Everett, et al)

Results shows network was rather spast and somewhat centralised for all network dimensions

Density was 8%, collaboration 9%, information communication 8%

Connections not distributed equally among members

For indivudal mean value of advice was 9 ties, colaboration 11 ..


  • All network dimensions related to each other, there are plenty of multiplex network ties among members
  • Peer evaluation indicators measruing support provided, advice given and admitration varies a lot betwen respondents
  • Classifcaiton: background persons (13), community core (4), masters (9), practitioners (72), soloist (18), unclassified (4)

Extra content

Embedded Content


Gill Clough
11:23am 3 May 2010

My particular favourite was the section where he produced his wallet, opened it, and it burst into flames. He then turned it over, extinguished the flames and withdrew a banknote which he screwed up and unfolded as a banknote of higher value. Good presentational technique :)

Contribute to the discussion

Please log in to post a comment. Register here if you haven't signed up yet.