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Barnum Effect

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Este artículo presenta los resultados del estudio empírico acerca de la toma de decisiones sobre el consumo y el ahorro de los entes económicos en Panamá, en este caso los estudiantes universitarios de la Universidad de Panamá, durante la pandemia. Estos resultados fueron analizados bajo la lupa de los planteamientos teóricos de las teóricas neoclásicas, keynesianas y conductuales con respecto a las leyes teóricas de oferta y demanda. Los datos fueron recolectados mediante encuestas digitales que observaron tres escenarios: Ahorro y consumo en general; el juicio y consumo dependiente del aumento de precios; y la auto conservación. La investigación llevó a la conclusión de que la teoría keynesiana y la conductual posiblemente tengan mejores mecanismos para explicar las decisiones con respecto al ahorro y el consumo de los individuos. Al mismo tiempo se pudo observar que los sujetos de estudio, en su mayoría, no presentaban la racionalidad definida por la teoría neoclásica.
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The Barnum effect was generated to teach students about the ethics of deception in research and the feelings of subjects who are lied to. Students in research methods classes received feedback based on a bogus personality inventory and rated the perceived validity of the interpretations. Students accepted the feedback, although seniors were more skeptical than juniors or sophomores. The class discussed the ethics of deception based on their own reactions to the knowledge that they were deceived. Students agreed that the approach was effective in helping them learn firsthand about the costs and benefits of deception in research.
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Reviews research on the Barnum effect (i.e., the tendency for people to accept vague, ambiguous, and general statements as descriptive of their unique personalities). The studies examined variables of the Barnum profiles in regard to generality and supposed relevance of the interpretation, favorability of interpretation, type of assessment procedure, and origin and format of interpretation. The role of personal factors such as characteristics of the subject and test administrator is analyzed. It is concluded that the level of acceptance of Barnum profiles depends on the relevance and favorability of the profile and to some extent on the type of assessment used. (61 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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The "rule-of-thumb method" for generating personality descriptions from tests involves the clinician's personal experience, skill, and creative artistry; the "cookbook method" refers to "the transition from psychometric pattern to personality description is an automatic, mechanical, 'clerical' kind of task, proceeding by the use of explicit rules set forth in the cookbook." Data are cited indicating the superiority of the "cookbook method." Characteristics and expectations regarding this method are discussed. 15 references. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Addresses the question of how accurate is the judgment of most clinicians. The cognitive processes of mental health professionals and the subtle biases that may influence their decisions are examined. This volume is essential reading for researchers who study the assessment process; mental health professionals and graduate students who wish to reduce bias and improve clinical judgment; and forensic psychologists who must defend the nature of their expertise. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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In a recent article in this journal, Poston and Hanson (2010) reported a meta-analysis of 17 studies on the use of psychological assessment as a therapeutic intervention (PATI) and concluded that "psychological assessment procedures--when combined with personalized, collaborative, and highly involving test feedback--have positive, clinically meaningful effects on treatment" (Poston & Hanson, 2010, p. 203). Although extant data suggest that PATI can sometimes exert positive effects, Poston and Hanson's (2010) meta-analysis may overstate the magnitude of these effects because the authors (a) included several studies that combined assessment with treatment components that are irrelevant to PATI, sometimes rendering it impossible to attribute any observed effects to PATI per se and (b) excluded numerous nonsignificant results. Moreover, the studies Poston and Hanson (2010) reviewed neglected to rule out Barnum effects as alternative explanations for client improvement, raising the possibility that PATI works for reasons other than those proposed by its advocates. We conclude that Poston and Hanson's (2010) review leaves a number of lingering questions concerning the treatment utility of PATI unanswered.
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This study entails the use of meta-analytic techniques to calculate and analyze 18 independent and 52 nonindependent effect sizes across 17 published studies of psychological assessment as a therapeutic intervention. In this sample of studies, which involves 1,496 participants, a significant overall Cohen's d effect size of 0.423 (95% CI [0.321, 0.525]) was found, whereby 66% of treatment group means fell above the control and comparison group means. When categorical variables were taken into account, significant treatment group effects were found for therapy process variables (d = 1.117, [0.679, 1.555]), therapy outcomes (d = 0.367, [0.256, 0.478]), and combined process/outcome variables (d = 0.547, [0.193, 0.901]). These findings appear to be robust on the basis of fail-safe N calculations. Taken together, they suggest that psychological assessment procedures-when combined with personalized, collaborative, and highly involving test feedback-have positive, clinically meaningful effects on treatment, especially regarding treatment processes. They also have important implications for assessment practice, training, and policy making, as well as future research, which are discussed in the conclusion of the article.
Article
Studied whether the Barnum effect (i.e., S's willingness to endorse universally valid statements as accurate and meaningful) is best attributed to the prestige of psychologists and their tests or to the nature of the statements themselves. Although significant differences in the ratings of psychologists and astrologers by 84 undergraduates were found, data suggest that the high base rate validity of universally valid statements may be sufficient to account for the Barnum effect. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).
Article
Computers have been important to applied psychology since their introduction, and the application of computerized methods has expanded in recent decades. The application of computerized methods has broadened in both scope and depth. This article explores the most recent uses of computer-based assessment methods and examines their validity. The comparability between computer-administered tests and their pencil-and-paper counterparts is discussed. Basic decision making in psychiatric screening, personality assessment, neuropsychology, and personnel psychology is also investigated. Studies on the accuracy of computerized narrative reports in personality assessment and psychiatric screening are then summarized. Research thus far appears to indicate that computer-generated reports should be viewed as valuable adjuncts to, rather than substitutes for, clinical judgment. Additional studies are needed to support broadened computer-based test usage.
Article
Paul E. Meehl's work on the clinical versus statistical prediction controversy is reviewed. His contributions included the following: putting the controversy center stage in applied psychology; clarifying concepts underpinning the debate (especially his crucial distinction between ways of gathering data and ways of combining them) as well as establishing that the controversy was real and not concocted, analyzing clinical inference from both theoretical and probabilistic points of view, and reviewing studies that compared the accuracy of these 2 methods of data combination. Meehl's (1954/1996) conclusion that statistical prediction consistently outperforms clinical judgment has stood up extremely well for half a century. His conceptual analyses have not been significantly improved since he published them in the 1950s and 1960s. His work in this area contains several citation classics, which are part of the working knowledge of all competent applied psychologists today.
Personal gullibility or pseudodiagnosis: A further test of the “fallacy of personal validation.”
  • R. R. Dies
Acceptance of personality interpretations: The “Barnum effect” and beyond
  • C. R. Snyder
  • R. J. Shenkel
  • C. R. Lowery
Does insecurity breed acceptance? Effects of trait and situational insecurity on acceptance of positive and negative diagnostic feedback
  • C. R. Snyder
  • M. S. Clair
Antecedent probability and the efficiency of psychometric signs, patterns, or cutting scores
  • P. E. Meehl
  • A. Rosen