What is the Forer effect?

We have all experienced it when we were given a reading by a fortune teller, a palm reader or a psychic or when we were reading the horoscope one morning.The Forer effect is the tendency to accept that vague and general personality descriptions are uniquely applicable to oneself without realizing that the same descriptions could apply to anyone else.The Forer effect is named after psychologist B.R. Forer who discovered it. One day he gave a personality test to his students and without looking at their answers he gave each of them a personality evaluation. The students were then asked to evaluate this evaluation on a scale of 0 to 5 (with 5 meaning excellent accuracy). The class average was 4.26. This is quite high considering that the personality evaluation he gave to each of his students was the same. The test has been repeated hundreds of times with other psychology students and the average was still maintained around 4.2.So his subjects might say he could successfully read their character, but instead he proved that the people tend to accept vague and general personality descriptions as uniquely applicable to themselves.The most common explanations given today to account for the Forer effect are self-deception, wishful thinking, vanity and the tendency to try to make sense out of experience. People tend to believe things about themselves that are false, if at the same time they deem them positive or flattering enough. We tend to ignore what is not true and just consider the correct descriptions. Even if we are given vague data we try and make a clear picture out of it.I can go on and on about this, but I think this is sufficient for now.

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