An Important Magical Principle

It’s an old saying in advertising that “sex sells.”

This Cornell University professor may have demonstrated in the ESP lab something that magicians have known for a while.

The scourge of responsible psychological research stands behind me, wearing a red cardigan and an expression of great interest. “How were your results?” Bem asks. He points out that I scored better predicting the location of erotic photos—in Bem’s hypothesis, more arousing images are more likely to inspire ESP—than I did boring old landscapes and portraits. In this dingy lab in the basement of an Ivy League psych department, is the future now?

Professor Bem also has some ideas on sexuality and gender identity, as you will find if you read the whole thing.