The Forer Effect

Aka known as The Barnum Effect:

The Forer effect (also called personal validation fallacy or the Barnum effect after P. T. Barnum’s observation that ‘we’ve got something for everyone’) is the observation that individuals will give high accuracy ratings to descriptions of their personality that supposedly are tailored specifically for them, but are in fact vague and general enough to apply to a wide range of people. The Forer effect can provide a partial explanation for the widespread acceptance of some pseudosciences such as astrology and fortune telling, as well as many types of personality tests.

A related and more generic phenomenon effect is that of subjective validation (Marks, 2000, p. 41). Subjective validation occurs when two unrelated or even random events are perceived to be related because a belief, expectancy, or hypothesis demands a relationship. Thus people seek a correspondence between their perception of their personality and the contents of a horoscope.

Bush: But I Want Mukaseyyyyyyyyy!!!!

It’s like having a five year old as president. If only the Democrats had a majority in Congress………

President Bush yesterday warned Democrats that if they do not confirm his attorney general nominee, Michael B. Mukasey, the U.S. might have no attorney general for the remainder of his term.

The president painted the nomination as a key part of the war on terror during two talks in a day during which two of the Democratic Party’s most prominent senators publicly announced their opposition to the Mukasey nomination based on his unwillingness to declare an interrogation technique called “waterboarding” to be torture and thus illegal.

Mr. Bush, while refusing to discuss or confirm any techniques, said Mr. Mukasey has not been briefed on classified government interrogation programs and should not be expected to give his legal opinion about such things.

“It’s wrong for congressional leaders to make Judge Mukasey’s confirmation dependent on his willingness to go on the record about the details of a classified program he has not been briefed on,” Mr. Bush said in a speech yesterday afternoon at the Heritage Foundation in Washington.