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'.

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used to address an English nobleman