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There are few how have become more famous in the modern era for the cups and balls than Penn and Teller. So if PBS was looking to track exactly how anyone fooled any audience with the venerable old routine, it makes sense it was them.

And it would also make sense that the study would ask P&T why they think the trick works. And mostly, they’d be found to be right. Except for one little concept.

In addition, magicians often say that success with illusions depends on how well they can use gazes and faces to manipulate where audiences look, Macknik explained. The researchers tested this idea by hiding Teller’s face on the video clips with a black rectangle, and found doing so apparently did not affect the illusion.

‘We’re showing a discovery that magicians missed because they relied on their intuition, and their intuition was wrong,’ Macknik said.

The full report has yet to be released, but it seems to indicate that social cues might be a very overrated element of magic in general.