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The Barnum Effect is also sometimes called the Forer Effect, after psychologist Bertram Forer.In 1948, he administered a fake psychology test to 39 of his psychology...
Forer asked his students to rate the statements in terms of how well it applied to them, on a scale of 0 for very poor accuracy to 5 for excellent accuracy.
The results? The students rated the personal accuracy of the statements as 4.3 out of 5 on average. That's impressive...
As with most cognitive biases , half of the battle is to be aware of the Barnum Effect. However, research suggests that there are three main factors that make the Barnu...
One of the most important factors when reproducing this study is to keep the statements as vague as possible, with a mix of mostly positive and some negative content.
For example, using the phrase “at times” makes for a powerful Barnum Effect.
“At times you are ex...
You have probably guessed the problem: these fake results were put together by Forer by assembling various bits of copy he had found in a newsstand astrology book, and all students received the same list of statements, rather than a custom one the students were told about.
According to the Encyclopedia Britannica : “The Barnum Effect is the phenomenon that occurs when individuals believe that personality descriptions apply specifically to them, despite the fact that the description is actually fille...
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