Suggestion is a technique of mentalism in which the mentalist guides the feelings, opinions, thoughts and behaviours of other people.
Suggestion is one of the most important elements of mentalism. There are two ways of transmitting suggestions:
It is always transmitted in a camouflaged (metaphorical) form.
If the person to whom the suggestion has been directed, doesn’t understand its content, then it will not become a suggestion and mentalism will not work.
Suggestiveness is a characteristic of every human being. Mentalists use it to create an illusion, however, the susceptibility to suggestions is different for everyone and often depends on the person’s age.
Hans Eysenck, a German psychologist, studied the connections of suggestiveness with other human characteristics. He examined the relationship between suggestion and intelligence, finding no relation between these two.
Subsequently, he examined the susceptibility to suggestions of different sexes and the impact of the suggestive gender. He conducted research on three groups, 60 people each group (30 men and 30 women).
The results of the study did not indicate significant differences between men and women.
The group in which, the suggesting person was a man, a higher susceptibility percentage to suggestions was received (among men and women).
Eysenck confirmed with his research that most susceptible to suggestions are children aged 5 to 8 years and people in the age group between 15 and 50 years old. Susceptibility to suggestions gradually decreases after the age of 50.
The conclusion is that mentalists using the suggestion technique should target mainly people from these age groups.
In the below video Derren Brown shows how the most susceptible group reacts to negative suggestion: