Special sessions


Special panel sessions

Future directions in deception research

           Aldert Vrij                 Dan Ariely                 Steve Porter             Timothy R.Levine

Hosted by: Nicholas Humphrey


Technology assisted lie detection

        Jeff Hancock            Judee Burgoon        Bruno Verschuere           Giorgio Ganis   

Hosted by: Ross Anderson


Special practical sessions

Thiefspotting with Bob Arno

We are proud to present this special practical session, portraying deception from a more practical perspective. Although emerging technologies can help us detect deceit, they also open new doorways to commit crimes such as credit card fraud. Pickpocketing expert Bob Arno talks about the latest tools and techniques to spot sophisticated diversion thieves before they steal your pin code or password.

Bob Arno has researched deception and con artistry in the field for more than forty years. Regularly investigating scams, cons, and distract theft in numerous countries, he often infiltrates criminal gangs that perpetrate pervasive crime against travelers. Through personal interaction and with a special way of befriending the thieves, he gathers intelligence and hidden camera footage. Arno is internationally recognized as the foremost expert on pickpockets, works closely with specialized police in many countries, and facilitates communication and information-sharing among them. He is a speaker, law enforcement lecturer, and frequent guest on international news shows. He has made documentaries for The Travel Channel, RTL, ITV, Discovery, BBC, National Geographic, and others. He co-authored the 2002 taxonomy of thieves, Travel Advisory: How to Avoid Thefts, Cons, and Street Scams. Thiefhunters in Paradise is his blog about street thievery worldwide. You can watch Arno's National Geographic documentary "Pickpocket King" (where he infiltrates an organized pickpocket gang in Italy), which premiered in thirty countries in 2012 and has now gained over 10 million hits on Youtube.


Martin S. Taylor: Where magic lies

In our second special practical session we introduce another fascinating practical implication of deception: magic and the role of suggestion. Martin S Taylor will be discussing whether it counts as deception when we know - or even want to - be deceived? Magicians make an honest living from deception, but sometimes their lies aren't quite as honest as you'd think. Martin, a professional magician and lecturer in the psychology of suggestion will offer an insight into how magicians often entertain by using deception in sneaky, dishonest ways which we may not be expecting. And he'll be illustrating it with some magic during dinner, too. Honestly.

Martin started as a magician when he was in the final year of his maths degree at Cambridge. While working on his PhD at Imperial College he supplemented his grant by working as a magician, and soon added hypnosis to his bag of tricks. The hypnosis lecture rapidly became popular at students' unions around the country (Lecture Success! Audience Falls Asleep!) and when he was made redundant from his job as a technical writer he was happy to become a professional entertainer, work which he has been doing ever since.

However, although at first he believed in the traditional model of hypnosis, he is now convinced that there is no trance or altered state of mind when it is practised as entertainment. Rather, it relies almost entirely on suggestion, and Martin makes this clear in his lecture. What amazes him still (and professional psychologists too) is that this approach allows him to perform classical stage hypnosis even though the subjects are aware there's no hypnosis involved.

Because he's open about the way he uses suggestion in both his magic and hypnosis shows, Martin can work where traditional hypnosis is viewed with distrust (eg. schools and maybe deception conferences?) or banned outright (eg. military camps). But he's also worked in a wide variety of situations, including working with Derren Brown on his television specials. Twice he was employed to hypnotise subjects at a horror film to make them run screaming from the cinema before the film was over. Interested? Check Martin's skills out on YouTube or his website.

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