Many people, with an increasing number, believe in graphology, astrology and fortune readers. They, especially who are in need of consultant for important steps that they have to take or life-changing decisions they have to make, are going to believe more strongly in what the astrologer says. For some Asia countries, Viet Nam for example, seeking for an advice from a future reader or a graphologist is considered as a must-have task for almost all families who have upcoming significant events like wedding or funeral.
The question is: Why?
The advice they give seems to be “true”.
There is a possibility that the interpretations the consultant provides are “true”. It’s not hard to understand. They are true because they consist of vague positive generalizations with high base-rate validity. Most of the advice they give is general enough to apply to a wide range of people. Some sayings like “You are an extrovert person and sometimes you act like an introvert who needs to be in solidity”, “You are always seeking for the need and admiration from others” are true for every single man. Because those conclusions are derived from personality assessment procedure, so they are true in the essence.
We’ve got something for everyone.
There is an effect that provides an explanation for the acceptance of beliefs and practices such as graphology, astrology, etc. between many people for a long time. It’s called Barnum effect. It indicates a common psychological phenomenon whereby individuals will give high accuracy ratings to descriptions of their personalities that supposedly are tailored specifically to them. Since it’s based on the personality assessment and test procedure of many people, everyone can find something in it for himself. The bad news is that they tend to think about those descriptions as their specific interpretations.
Consultants are good listeners and they tell you what you want to listen.
The fact is that you only go to see the consultant when you are in need of listening to advice. There is a high chance that you are having to handle a tough situation or a trouble. Sometimes you don’t even know what exactly you want to ask about. By means of this, you know don’t know your problems and question as clear as the consultant does. They are excellent at questioning and listening. They connect your words, your stories with the common and general validity to bring you assumptions that can be applied to not only you but everyone else. They are going to tell you what you want to listen, which are the positive and beautiful things. Generally, you are easy to accept positive self-portraits than the negative ones. And have you ever noticed that most of the things they said are positive? Each and every one has his own gullibility. You are easy to fall to the fallacy of personal validation. You are easy to accept the generalizations that are true of nearly everybody to be specifically true of yourself.
You will believe in what you want to believe.
When you come for an advice, you have a tendency to accept claims about yourself in the proportion to your desire that the claims be true. You are not going to believe in the empirical accuracy of the claims as measured by some non-subjective standard, no matter how it’s clearly and vividly shining. Does it sound familiar?
One thing remarkable here, those who have beautiful and positive self-portrait are more likely to show the belief in astrologers and the aura reading more than those who have negative ones. For example, when a future reader tells you something like “You have an unused capacity which you have not turned to your advantages, and you should do it as soon as possible”, how can’t you believe? Now you have a reason for your weakness and failure for a long time. Now you know why you tried but everything just didn’t work out. It’s because you are not making the most out of capability.
Although the belief in bogus feedbacks is influenced by many different important factors such as consultant and receiver as well as the nature of the test, you should never believe in it totally but consider to the proportion to believe instead, which can bring benefits somehow.
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