The Forer effect (from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
The Forer effect is the observation that individuals will give high accuracy ratings to descriptions of their personality that supposedly are tailored specifically for them, but 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 beliefs and practices, such as astrology, fortune telling, and some types of personality tests.
In 1948, psychologist Bertram R. Forer gave a personality test to his students. Afterward, he told his students they were each receiving a unique personality analysis that was based on the test’s results and to rate their analysis on a scale of 0 (very poor) to 5 (excellent) on how well it applied to themselves. In reality, each received the same analysis:
On average, the rating was 4.26, but only after the ratings were turned in was it revealed that each student had received identical copies assembled by Forer from various horoscopes.
Later studies have found that subjects give higher accuracy ratings if the following are true:
* the subject believes that the analysis applies only to him or her
* the subject believes in the authority of the evaluator
* the analysis lists mainly positive traits
Fredrik: The Zalzharian Zodiac has a very low Forer effect because the analysis lists mainly NEGATIVE traits. But it makes up for it by being the word of God.
Jan: That’s not true, being a “Zalzhar The Zalzharian” has very high effect on me. And I have always felt some strange kind of connection to Winston Churchill, Bruce Lee and Ozzy Osbourne. Now I know why.