The Barnum Effect - We've All Fallen For It
the tendency to accept generalized information (ex. personality descriptions) as accurate descriptions of our own unique personality.
Additionally, we more naturally accept positive comments as relevant to ourselves but are less likely to be in agreement with general critical statements.
- Personalization is one of the main components that stop us in our tracks.
- Social desirable statements (you attract more bees with honey than with flies)
- We are told exactly what we want to hear whether it's true or not.
1. Where do your eyes go first when you looked at the image above ?
If you're eyes locked on your horoscope first you just experienced the Barnum Effect.
My horoscope claims(Pisces)
Oct 1, 2022 - Exciting news could come to you today that could bring a lot of joy into your life, Pisces. Your income may soon skyrocket, and more opportunities to advance yourself professionally should start coming thick and fast. You may even receive some sort of public acknowledgment. This isn't the end of the line, however - this is only the beginning! You will be glad to know you can expect this trend to continue for some time.
My brain desperately wants to attach personal meanings to these generic statements.
2. Our part - to give the general statements meaning.
We're the only ones that can give them meaning.
3. Barnum statements typically end on a high note.
Example from my horoscope: This isn't the end of the line, however - this is only the beginning! You will be glad to know you can expect this trend to continue for some time.
4. 3 traps of the Barnum Effect
Masters of the Barnum Effect: