The Forer Effect, identified by psychologist B.R. Forer, happens when someone accepts some general or vague description of their personality as being unique to them, even though the exact same description would apply equally well to everyone.

In his experiment, Forer gave a personality test to his students and then,

without bothering to even read them, gave back a general personality analysis - the exact same one to each student, taken from a newspaper astrology column. He asked his students to rate his analysis and received an overwhelmingly positive response - his students were convinced that he could read their personalities.

The same experiment has been performed repeatedly through the decades in a vareity of contexts, and the responses continue to be highly positive. It seems to be a basis for understanding people's acceptance of things like astrology, graphology, divination and other pseudosciences.It is also known as Barnum Effect, personal validation effect, subjective validation effect.

The Forer effect has been known to be used heavily in horoscopes in various publications as a way to entice readers into believing in astrology and its powers of prediction.

Related Links

• What do you mean by Mars Effect?