|I used to feel sorta badass ...|
It's considered a feminine sign.
|And now ... not so much.|
Well, I'm still a girl, so there's that.
But whoa--Scorpio and Virgo. They're so different. I had always thought Scorpio fit me pretty well. But then, when I read the Virgo traits, I was like, "hey, that sounds a little like me, too."
Has anyone else had this sort of disorienting experience in the last few weeks?
If so, take comfort, my friends. We have been victims of the Forer Effect. Also known as the Barnum Effect. When we read descriptions we believe apply to us, we attribute high levels of accuracy to them. Even if they are SO general that they could apply to most of the population in some way or another.
The Forer Effect has been demonstrated in numerous research studies. The original study: this psychologist had his students take a personality test, then he gave them their results. They all rated the results as highly accurate. And then he revealed that he'd given them all the SAME personality description, and that personality description was not based in any way upon their test responses.
This is how psychologists punk people.
There are a lot of other reasons people find astrology persuasive, and if you really want to know more, you can find them here. Maybe they will make you feel better about having your astrological identity stripped from you.
And on the writing side, I think it shows the caution we should use in our adjective choices ... so much better to show the reader your characters' distinct personalities rather than telling the reader with these general personality descriptors, right? I have noticed that some writers try to do this in their query letters as a sort of shorthand to the agent: "Strong-willed, conservative so-and-so" or "Shy, self-deprecating other-person" ... but I've rarely seen it work.
So: are you still recovering from the Great Astrological Shuffling of 2011? Have you fallen prey to the Forer Effect? Or perhaps an evil, punking psychologist? And do you think my suspicion of personality adjectives is unfounded ?
Wow, my questions are random today. While I go in search of coherence, please check out Laura's post on self-evaluation.