Vexen Crabtree (vexen) wrote,
Vexen Crabtree
vexen

The Forer (Barnum) Effect

A new page! "The Forer (or Barnum) Effect"

The Forer effect is the seeing of a personality statement as "valid even though it could apply to anyone", and is named after the psychologist who famously demonstrated it. In 1949, Bertram Forer conducted a personality test, and then gave all of his students exactly the same personality profile, which he constructed from random horoscopes. The students rated the accuracy of their profile at over 80% on average! This was occasionally previously known as the Barnum effect after a popularist entertainer. Extensive studies have found that this effect applies well to horoscopes, other astrological readings, messages given from the dead by spiritualists, various cold reading tricks and other profiling endeavours. It is often mistaken for being a product of magical or supernatural means.
Tags: astrology, barnum effect, bertram forer, cold reading, forer effect, horoscopes, pseudoscience, psychology, vexen, vexen crabtree
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