Forer Effect / Barnum Statements

Psychologist Bertram R. Forer (1914-2000) found that people tend to accept vague and general personality descriptions as uniquely applicable to themselves without realizing that the same description could be applied to just about anyone.

Below, the Forer Effect is discussed by Brian Brushwood (from TV’s “Scam School”) during his “Scams, Sasquatch and the Supernatural” lecture. You can learn more about Brian at and you can watch the entire lecture from the start here.

Derren Brown, a famous UK mentalist, hosted “Science of Scams” where ‘Barnum Statements” were used by a “scammer” that exploits The Forer Effect:

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