Allow me to make a few predictions about you:
- You have a great need for other people to like and admire you.
- You have a tendency to be critical of yourself.
- You have a great deal of unused capacity which you have not turned to your advantage.
- While you have some personality weaknesses, you are generally able to compensate for them.
- Your sexual adjustment has presented problems for you.
- Disciplined and self-controlled outside, you tend to be worrisome and insecure inside.
- At times you have serious doubts as to whether you have made the right decision or done the right thing.
- You prefer a certain amount of change and variety and become dissatisfied when hemmed in by restrictions and limitations.
- You pride yourself as an independent thinker and do not accept others’ statements without satisfactory proof.
- You have found it unwise to be too frank in revealing yourself to others.
- At times you are extroverted, affable, sociable, while at other times you are introverted, wary, reserved.
- Some of your aspirations tend to be pretty unrealistic. Security is one of your major goals in life.
If you found yourself nodding along to many of these statements, you’re not alone. They weren’t actually written by me, but by Bertram R. Forer, for a psychological experiment he conducted in 1948. He got each of his participants to take a personality test, and told them they would receive a unique analysis based on the results. The above, assembled from various horoscopes, is what he gave each of them.
When asked to rate how well the statements applied to themselves, from 0 (very poor) to 5 (excellent), the mean average score came to 4.26. And all this from generic statements!
Aside from being an interesting study, I thought I’d write briefly about it because it shows how similarly we view ourselves. We all go through the same difficulties. Look again at the bullets above and see that you’re not alone!