Using “Magic” to Understand Consumer Behavior

Using “Magic” to Understand Consumer Behavior

The word “magic” doesn’t naturally seem to fit with fashion consumer insights. But in today’s interview, Matt Tompkins, a laboratory researcher currently at Oxford University, shows how the world of illusion can help us better understand the consumer’s mind.


  • How to use “choice blindness” to create artificial consumer demand for a product they very likely would not have chosen under normal conditions.
  • The “weird” way our memory works… and how it can trick us to believe events that didn’t actually happen.
  • Analysing the (Payless Shoes) Palessi Hoax – the psychology behind selling a $40 shoe for $400.
About Our Guest

Matt Tompkins

Matt Tompkins is an American magician turned psychologist who recently completed a doctorate in Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford. His research, which has been featured across various international media outlets, including Wired magazine, the Washington Post, and BBC Future, focuses on the cognitive psychology of illusions. He is also the first member of The Magic Circle to have been admitted on the basis of a peer-reviewed scientific publication. His new book, The Spectacle of Illusion, explores historical and contemporary relationships between magicians and scientists.



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