Thor Brah Profile picture
22 Nov, 33 tweets, 10 min read
The Barnum Effect and Cold Reading - THREAD

Lotta you out there are looking to improve your social & cold reading skills. Analyzing strangers on the spot.

Using the Barnum Effect is IMO the easiest way to instantly improve your cold reading.

I’ll dive into how to use it below
I’ve been fascinated with the human mind for as long as I can remember. Maybe this stemmed from being extremely introverted. Maybe from just the fascination of how things worked.

But I’ve been studying how people think of themselves & how to apply that to interactions for years
I had been considering writing a thread on this for a bit.

And brother @YousXP brought this up the other day which inspired me to put some info out there.

He was talking about astrology and the Barnum effect, which is a phenomenal example.
Who among us hasn’t wanted to be like Sherlock Holmes, walking up to someone and immediately telling them everything about themselves?

I know I have.

This tactic makes reading ppl easier than ever.
There’s an immense amount of nuance in “reading” people. Some do it naturally. Some do it intentionally.

There’s countless method to improve these skills.

I’m going to focus on the easiest way I’ve found to impress people with your deduction skills:

The Barnum Effect
PT Barnum was an entertainer and borderline con man in the 1800s.

While there’s quite a bit of controversy around the man, there’s one thing everyone can agree on:

He was wildly successful at what he did. (Also ugly af which makes it more impressive)
The term “Barnum Effect” was coined by psychologist Paul Meehl well after Barnum’s death.

Due to the fact this psychological “test” is one of the ways Barnum became so successful.

Barnum had the ability to “read” people & tell them all about themselves with no prior interaction
So what actually is the Barnum Effect?

It’s a generic cold read technique that applies to almost anyone you meet.

It’s been tested in multiple studies and I use it pretty regularly in day to day interactions.
It’s a list of qualities you “assess” about an individual, but the catch is that almost everyone thinks this way about themselves.

We all like to think of ourselves as unique in our thoughts and behaviors, but normally this isn’t the case.
These are generalizations, but framed to analyze the specific individual.

The list is as follows:

- You’re comfortable in your own skin, but have a need for others to like & admire you

- You have a great deal of unused capacity, which you’re still looking to take advantage of
- Disciplined and self-controlled outside, you can sometimes be worrisome and insecure inside

- You prefer a certain amount of change & variety, and become dissatisfied when constrained by restrictions & limitations

- You have a tendency to be overly critical of yourself
- At times you have doubts as to whether you’ve made the right decision or done the right thing

- You love being around people, but there’s many moments you need to stay inside & be by yourself

- While you have weaknesses, you’re typically able to compensate for them
- You pride yourself as an independent thinker & don’t accept others statements without satisfactory proof

- You find it unwise to be too direct in revealing yourself to others

- Some people think your aspirations are unrealistic

- Security is one of your major goals in life
- You’re an independent person, but have a close group of people who’re really important to you

- You’re very thoughtful and well-intentioned, but sometimes people can take what you say the wrong way

- You value loyalty in the people you’re close to
Honestly, there could be many more, but those are a great start.

A couple studies from the mid 1900s tested those on subjects.

The first study found that over 1/2 of ppl describe those assessment as very accurate, and almost no one said it was incorrect
A group of 39 psych students were given a version of that list in 1948 and the average person rated the accuracy as 4.26/5.

The whole concept was refined by Bertram Forer, so you’ll see this described as the “Forer Effect” as well
There are a few keys to these assessments that’ll make it work better for you:

- the individual thinks you’re describing solely them, not a group

- your authority (confidence is key for us, per usual)

- the assessments are framed in a positive light
Keep in mind, these are how ppl PERCEIVE themselves. Not how they actually are.

Most ppl aren’t too self-aware. The idea of themselves doesn’t match their actual self.

Use this to your advantage. Confirming ppls belief about themselves instantly builds rapport
There’s always a bit of nuance to it as well. If you’re chatting with someone and one of these is clearly not them, don’t use it.

Don’t think of it as a complete script, but an outline for cold-reads.

Adapt to the interaction a bit and you’ll look like Sherlock Holmes
It’s very important to do this with unbridled confidence and keep it positive.

If you act like an authority in reading ppl, they’ll be much more receptive when you get close than if you act uncertain.

& ppl want to feel good about themselves. Confirm this with your readings
This concept has been used for thousands of years. Fortune tellers, tarot card readers, prophets, oracles.

They all use a similar approach and we as humans keep turning to them... so they must be doing something right.
There’s a ton of applicability here.

You can use this in business, networking, interviews, copywriting, dates....

Really any situation where building rapport and being interesting is important...

so pretty much all of life
It doesn’t have to be formally analyzing someone. Often it’s not.

Use it in regular conversation.

If they’re talking about an interaction with their friends, you can respond,

“You sound very independent but you find these people’s opinions really important, don’t you?”
Now some of you on here may be thinking these are too generic. That they’ll stick out to ppl.

Possibly, but if you’re not blatantly telling someone you’re cold-reading them, I highly doubt they’ll find anything odd.

Ppl like to feel understood. And you’re doing just that.
Personally, I like to listen to someone and respond “I’m typically pretty good at reading ppl, and (insert one of the statements based on what they said)”

It subtly implies authority, but keeps the convo on ppls favorite topics, THEMSELVES
Sometimes I pretend to read chix palms & say this shit. They absolutely eat it up.

If you pair it with micro-expressions you’ll really seem like Sherlock Holmes.

Recognize when someone’s eyes immediately widen or pupils dilate after a statement and you know you hit the spot
It works even better when you validate a potentially negative trait about someone in a positive light.

Take the random introvert.

“You really like people but you often just feel the need to get away and be by yourself”

Explain why their traits are justified.
Lmao I know for a lot of you, your first take away will be to use this with chix.

That’s all and good. Personally it’s worked v well as a rapport builder.

But it applies to so much more.

You can use the assessments to “understand” an organization or company during an interview
You can do this w random bro’s to create buddies in the moment. With colleagues while networking.

There’s really no bad situation to build rapport. Cuz that’s what this is. It’s a technique of rapport building.

You’re validating a persons self-image, which ppl LOVE
Ppl are so focused on themselves nowadays, so be DIFFERENT... and might as well use that knowledge to your advantage.

Ppl want to feel UNDERSTOOD. And not just the sheep. This has likely worked on you & me many times over the years.

We love when someone instantly “gets” us
Advertisers use it too.

People are out there making money with this. How could they not?

You put out a statement that seemingly resonates with an individual, but can blanket the majority of the population.

Apply this is biz as well.
Lastly, don’t just throw these into convos all autistically & random. There’re specific assessments that fit smaller sub sects better.

Your avg 21yo chix and a mid 30’s businessman have VASTLY different outlooks on life. Being aware of who you’re talking to & respond accordingly
If you enjoyed this, RT the first tweet below 👇👇👇

Help your friends improve their social/cold-reading/marketing skills.

Sincerely appreciate you all for reading, hope this helps an aspect of your life.

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29 Sep
The Hero’s Journey - THREAD

Sure, many of you know what “The Hero’s Journey” is. Entertained by countless stories of that nature.

But you can take the principles from it to create an extraordinary life for yourself. Face your demons. Become your own hero. Conquer.
What is The Hero’s Journey?

For the unaware, it’s a common narrative template used across many stories thruout humanity. It uses relatively similar aspects across different story arcs.

Normally falling into 3 distinct phases:

- Departure
- Initiation/Revelation
- Return
There’s many specific steps to The Hero’s Journey, but they generally fall into one of those 3 phases.

This’s meant to be applicable, not a lecture on literary structure.

If you want you can google Joesph Campbell’s 17 stages, but my goal is for you to focus on applicability
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Sitting here on a deserted beach in a typically popular beach town, ripping some American Spirits & thinking about fear.

This towns been decimated this year. I think around 1/3 of businesses closed for good and that # is growing.

All because of our collective response to fear
We’re designed with an acute fear response. This response used to serve as a mechanism to fight off Sabre tooth tigers and warring tribes.

Unfortunately, now it just serves to bend the masses to whatever manufactured trauma the elite want to inflict
I’ve talked w/ as many people as I could find. Subtly getting their take on the situation.

Even your biggest right wing people here succumb to the notion that they may die w/o a mask and brag about getting tested w/ absolutely no symptoms
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And cuz I’m fascinated by how ridiculous the average person’s thought process is, I read the whole thing

My thoughts below.... Image
I honestly expected this to be satire. Thinking there’s no way someone’s gonna sell people on “eating chips and whipped cream on the couch” is good for you.

Sadly, the title was not clickbait & reflects exactly what it says Image
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Further reason to shun most mainstream “experts” (if you needed any more after these past months) Image
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Quick thread on some actionable advice for all you guys out there who look for some specific info from bigger accounts

Instead of cold DM’ing them out of the blue with a question, do an advanced keyword search of their tweets to see if they’ve already answered it.
With a lot of the guys on here, they’ve written about whatever you want to know about.

But they don’t necessarily want to re-hash everything they’ve already covered.

Witn no prior rapport built, you’re less likely to get a complete, in-depth response
This isn’t to say if you DM someone, you won’t get a good response, but just put some work in first.

It doesn’t even take much effort on your part, and you may get your question answered completely from their previous tweets.
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During the celeb Botox craze in the early 2000s, many of the ppl who got the treatment reported shifts in their emotional behavior.

This was at first odd, as Botox itself solely affects physical appearance and doesn’t interact with any sort of brain function.

At least directly
Depressed people suddenly started feeling less depressed.

But for most, they started having trouble with empathy, the feeling of community and connecting with those around them.

Why the shift in emotional behavior from a superficial operation?
When this behavior was studied, it was found that the inability to have normal micro expressions in their faces dampened people’s feelings.

We make thousands of micro expressions in our faces each day, conveying a wide range of emotional repsonses to situations.
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Move across the country or world for an extended period of time.

No safety nets. No support base. Limited knowledge of the situation ahead.

Find out what you can do on your own.
When you go off on your own, truly on your own, it’s almost impossible to make it through that and not come out of it a better man.

As of a few years ago, more than 80% of the population lived within a few hours of their parents.
We used to have rituals of men becoming men by going off and surviving on their own. It’s quite difficult to recreate that in modern society.

We all have an innate need to explore and it’s harder to find that in today’s world.
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