What is a Mentalist | How Do Mentalists Work

Have you heard of the name Lior Suchard? You might have seen him blowing your mind with his fantastic performance. If you know him and have been fascinated with his magic tricks, then you might have also wondered how he does it. Playing with people’s minds and tampering with the reality around us is just a part of the unbelievable tricks mentalists like Lior perform. 

But, what is a mentalist, exactly? If you are that curious about it, read till the end. We will make sure you understand it well.

What is Mentalism?

Mentalism is an art that plays with our mind, tampering with reality and making us believe that is otherwise impossible. Hypnosis, mind-reading, telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, mind control, etc., are all types of mentalism. 

You might have seen people being controlled and doing things against their will. This is what we see or merely saying, making us see. It seems real, but the truth might be different. At that moment, we feel like the performer possesses some kind of god-like power. 

Moreover, the most popular tricks of mentalism are hypnosis, mind-reading, and mind control. 

What is a Mentalist? 

You might already have an idea regarding who a mentalist is and what a mentalist does. In simple words, mentalists are people who perform mentalism. Like magicians, they are performers that entertain people and do the impossible. They can read people’s minds and behavior. They somewhat predict the future; this is what they claim.

Mentalism is hundreds of years old. However, with years of practice, it has evolved to the point where it isn’t limited to mind-reading only. To master or be a high-level mentalist, you need years of training to make people believe in your illusions and fool their brains. 

An essential factor for a mentalist to do their trick is human behavior. How people react, what emotions they show, and what they do help mentalists do their trick. Ultimately, it all comes down to understanding human psychology. They manipulate your thoughts to do their tricks.

Mentalism Vs. Regular Magic

Mentalism and regular magic seems the same. But, many mentalists believe that they are not magicians. They say mentalism and regular magic aren’t the same. They are similar but differ in how they are performed. 

Magicians do most of their tricks with their hand’s movement. But, mentalists do their tricks by playing with minds and forcing information into your brain. However, you don’t realize it. You don’t realize that you are doing exactly what they want by forcing information into you. 

If you have ever been to a magic show, you see tricks like birds flying out of a hat. Magicians fool your eyes to do their tricks. In contrast, you might have seen a mentalist with a card trick, telling you to remember the card. It is one of the famous tricks known as the mind-reading card trick. At the moment when you see the cards, the mentalist lip reads and reads your facial expression. That is how they do their trick.

When a magician is performing, he attracts your attention to distract your eyes, but he is actually preparing for the real trick. But, a mentalist makes people believe he can read minds. When a magician does his tricks, you would be like, “How did he do that?” But, when a mentalist does his tricks, you would be like, “How did he read my mind? How did he know what I was thinking?”

However, remember one thing; a mentalist can be a magician and vice versa.

How do Mentalists Work?

You get fascinated when you see a mentalist perform his trick. But, have you ever wondered how they do their tricks? You might say lipreading, reading facial expressions, and understanding human behaviors. That is correct. But, there is more than that. You need to have extraordinary observation skills. 

You see, our brain is a mysterious organ. It stores a lot of information when we hear, see, and feel things. In return, it makes us react. And our brain is the primary weapon for the mentalist. When he asks you a question, he observes how you react, simultaneously following your facial expressions. Actually, they read people, not their minds. They make us believe they are reading our minds, but they are not.

It defies every logic and understanding when they perform their ticks. But in reality, they force you to think about the exact outcome they want. They rely on your body language and your facial expressions. They see how you respond to the information they provide you. They do this to collect information from you in return. Most importantly, they force you to choose an option that you can’t deny. And that option becomes their answer. 

Another thing that differentiates them from ordinary people is memory. In simple words, they have an exceptional memory power. They catch every information very quickly. This way, they deduct the possibilities from the information they gather. And the last thing they need is confirmation whether they got the answer right or not. For that, they deceive you, ask you different questions, and provide you information.  

On the other hand, people must believe what you are saying. They must believe that you have some psychic powers. A mentalist must convince people to deceive them into performing the trick successfully.

A typical example of mentalism is Grey Elephant from Denmark trick. It is one of the most famous tricks and the best and easiest trick for you to understand how mentalists work.

The trick starts with you thinking a number from one to nine. You aren’t supposed to tell the number. Multiply the number with two and then add eight. Then again, divide the result by two. Now, subtract the obtained result with the number you first thought of at the beginning of the trick. Match this result with the corresponding alphabets like A=1, B=2, etc. Now, think of any European country that starts with that letter. Skip the initial of the country and select the alphabet next to it. Now, think of an animal that begins with that letter and the color of that animal. Most of the time, you get an answer Grey Elephant. 

The trick here is that when you think of a number and do exactly as the above steps, you get the answer 4, most of the time. Its corresponding letter is D. When you think of a European country, most people think of Denmark. Skip D, and you get alphabet E next to it. Just like Denmark, most people think of the elephant as an animal starting from E. Its color is grey. Hence, the name of the trick “Grey Elephant from Denmark”.

The above example shows how mentalists cunningly deceive your brain and perform their tricks.

However, remember that not every mentalist possesses the same skills. With years of training, one can surpass another and have different tricks up their sleeves. One can have the ability to do the same trick differently. 

Mentalism is an exceptional art. So, if you are aiming to become a mentalist, you can take different courses and learn the secrets behind every trick. Hard work and dedication play significant factors in becoming a successful mentalist. 

Hope this article quenched your curiosities about mentalists and mentalism.

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