One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The correction required in scientific observations (originally in astronomy) to compensate for the habitual inaccuracy of an individual observer; (in extended use) the component of a situation which relates to or arises from an individual's personal qualities.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. After German Personal-Gleichung (F. W. Bessel, 1822).
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