Magic boosts social skills, reveals study

A STUDY carried out by the University of Hertfordshire and a top magician has revealed teaching card tricks to children can increase their confidence.

Two schools were involved in the experiment where children were given a magic lesson designed by Rebecca Godfrey, Dr Sarah Woods, and Professor Richard Wiseman with the help of magician Marvin Berglas.

They assessed the effect of teaching the ten to 12 year-olds the seemingly impossible illusions and found that it boosted their social skills and confidence.

Psychologist Professor Wiseman said: “Learning magic requires self-discipline, an understanding of how other people think, and an ability to entertain.

“Also, unlike playing computer games, it encourages children to interact with their friends and family.

“Because of this, we thought it might be a unique and effective way of developing an important set of psychological skills.”

The results suggest some children with low self-esteem may benefit from learning and performing the tricks.

Marvin Berglas, from Marvin’s Magic, said: “These results confirm the many letters and emails that we receive from children saying how their new found talents have elevated their playground status.

“Also, magic encourages children to interact with their friends and family, and is also both fun and cool.”

The study will be presented to Marvin today (Thursday).

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