One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The tendency to accept as true types of information such as character assessments or horoscopes, even when the information is so vague as to be worthless.
- ‘The technique appears to have parallels to the Barnum effect used by some mediums, clairvoyants, and tarot card readers.’
- ‘CSICOP's Joe Nickell appeared on the show to discuss techniques of cold reading and the Barnum effect.’
- ‘Much of the seeming ‘accuracy ‘of such checklists could stem from ‘P.T. Barnum effects ‘.’
- ‘It also cuts out the ‘Barnum effect’ of performers fishing for information.’
- ‘Behavioural genetics is such smashing science, it does not need to use anything that could look like a Barnum effect.’
Named after P. T. Barnum (see Barnum, P. T); the word Barnum was in use from the mid 19th century as a noun in the sense ‘nonsense, humbug’.
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