Ever had that feeling when you could accurately relate to someone’s description of you? Congrats. You had been Barnumed!
On a fine evening, I started turning over the pages of Elon Musk’s biography with a cup of coffee by my side. My eyes quickly caught attention to the term ‘P.T.Barnum Effect‘ and I immediately recognized Barnum as my close associate who has been with me irrespective of the thicks and thins in my life.
Barnum effect is a common psychological phenomenon whereby individuals give high accuracy ratings to descriptions of their personality that supposedly are tailored specifically to them but that are, in fact, vague and general enough to apply to a wide range of people. This effect can provide a partial explanation for the widespread acceptance of some paranormal beliefs and practices, such as astrology, fortune telling, graphology, aura reading, and some types of personality tests.
The next time when you could relate the depictions in your horoscope accurately, think. There is a high chance that you have been ‘Barnumed’!