Definition of Barnum effect in English:

Barnum effect

Line breaks: Bar¦num ef¦fect

noun

Psychology
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.
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • The technique appears to have parallels to the Barnum effect used by some mediums, clairvoyants, and tarot card readers.

Origin

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'.

Definition of Barnum effect in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day glee
Pronunciation: gliː
noun
great delight, especially from one's own good fortune…