Probably the oldest trick in the book, this practice has no godfather or godmother. Anyone who has the knack for getting their way tends to rely in some manner on this trick. The alarming fact about this practice is that it can work on just about anyone without having much knowledge about them. You can try this on your friends and others to see if it works – and it will work!
Let’s get to the trick now.
Bertram Forer conducted a test for all his students. He was a psychologist and he told his students that he was making a personality profile for each and that the test would help him do so. What the students weren’t aware of is that he gave all of them the same exact profile and that he had already created the profile before even giving the test.
Later he asked all his students to rate the profile based on accuracy of prediction. Almost all his students claimed that the profile was a perfect summarization of who they are.
In a slight variation to this experiment, students were given two different profiles. One was a fake profile and another a real profile. Many actually believed that the fake profile was the true one.
How is it that the profile, which had nothing to do with the test hoodwink the students? They had a lot of positives in them with a little negative added for make belief. However, above all, the profile was vague. Think of psychics. This is what they exactly do. They give out vague statements that can apply to almost anyone. You will never hear a psychics make a prediction that their client is a socks lover who masquerades around murdering kittens. If you tell someone they are a monster, they will not want to hear you. If you tell them they are sweet and kind but at times a little overbearing though, they will love you for being honest (even if the truth is that they indeed murder kittens for fun!)
This is a trick that psychics rely on. They make statements that are vague and full of insight or multiple insights. But, during this time all they are doing is telling you things that you just want to hear in a way that does not let you figure out their trick. No psychic ever makes declarative statements because they are not always taken with kindness. Instead of saying, “You suffer from clinical depression”, they say, “At times, depression has be an issue for you but rarely”.
Now this is obviously true because almost every single individual has gone through depression at some point in their life. In fact, everyone gets depressed every now and then.