The name giver of the Barnum Effect

Circus operator PHINEAS TAYLOR BARNUM (1810 - 1891) ran a curiosity cabinet and was resourceful and cunning when it came to entertaining people. He was not always committed to the truth, he praised both real mermaids and 161-year-olds. But his dizziness and advertising actions were so good that they did not resent him and made him a rich man. 

 

Horoscopes use the Barnum Effect

Newspaper horoscopes use this effect as well as many supposed personality test. Barnum statements are generally not verifiable and contain ambiguities that are deeply human. "Even though I appear strong and confident outwardly, I sometimes feel weak and yearn for a strong shoulder". Objectivity and falsifiability are missing in any case.

 

All Articles of the Category Did You Already Know