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UKStar 2018 - Workshop March with Gustav Kuhn on Magic, Cognition and Testing

Exploring magic and cognition and mapping it on to the process of testing, understanding, and manipulating systems.

Title: Mapping Cognition to Software Modelling & Testing

UKStar is in march I helped organise it as part of the programme committee But I’m also doing a workshop with Gustav Khun which we have been planning.

I’m not sure I’ve looked forward to a workshop quite as much as this one.

Gustav is a Cognitive Psychologist and practicing Magician (he’s been on TV!) and we are going to explain some of the psychological principles of magic and I’ll map them on to Software Testing. Why? Because my MORIM model was built during the time that I talked my way into the Magic Circle in London for a year and I learned to study Magic and apply what I learned directly to testing. This is something I’ve wanted to cover for years but felt I lacked the credibility for the ‘Magic’ part. So I teamed up with Gustav to make sure we have a solid basis in Magic, Cognitive Psychology and Software Testing.

It should be a really fun 90 minutes.


Have you ever wondered how how a study of magic and prestidigitation can improve your software testing? Alan Richardson did, and that’s why he talked his way into the Magic Circle in London; and for a year was able to access their reference library and weekly lectures, a privilege normally reserved only for professional magicians. This enabled Alan to learn how to reverse engineer the process of observing the performance of magic and develop techniques which he applied directly to improve his Technical Testing process.

Have you ever wondered how a study of cognition could improve your magic performance? Gustav Kuhn did, and as a Cognitive Psychologist he explores ways in which magicians allow you to experience the impossible. His research lab uses magic to study a wide range questions about human cognition. For example, why is your mind so easily tricked? How can magicians misdirect your attention, and why is your experience distorted by perceptual, attentional and other more general cognitive illusions?

In this workshop, co-presented by Gustav and Alan, they will explore the wonder of magic and cognition and map it on to the process of testing, understanding, and manipulating systems.

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