Forer Effect

(redirected from The Barnum effect)
The observation that people give high accuracy ratings to descriptions of their personality that are said to have been tailored specifically for them, but which are in fact vague and general enough to apply to a wide range of people. The Forer effect partially explains the widespread acceptance of astrology, fortune telling, and some types of personality tests
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The Barnum effect was initially used in classrooms to illustrate gullibility and deception; however it later was used to teach ethics (Beins, 1993).
Another interesting finding is that the Barnum effect is more prevalent in positive statements and evaluations than in negative leading researchers to conclude that the Barnum effect is somewhat cancelled by a self-serving bias (Leung, Su & Morris, 2001; MacDonald & Standing, 2002).
Using the Barnum effect to teach about ethics and deception in research.
Studies supporting the validity of the Barnum effect include Dickson and Kelly (1985), Dies (1972), Fichten & Sunerton (1983), and Forer (1949).
Cold reading" is a set of deceptive psychological techniques which are used in the psychic reading to create the impression that the reader has paranormal ability (Rowland, 2002); the Barnum effect technique, which has been described earlier, is one branch in this tree of "cold reading" (Dutton, 1988).
Professor French mentions the Barnum Effect - which supposes that dubious operators apply a broad sweep of possibilities, which eager clients then swoop on as specific to their situation.