Chiara Meneghetti, Veronica Muffato, Laura Gigliodoro, Rossana De Beni

The personality diagnosis susceptibility and beliefs about personality in psychology students

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Personality Diagnosis Susceptibility; Beliefs about Personality.

This study aimed to replicate the Barnum effect, i.e. the tendency of people to accept general profiles as describing their personalities, and to analyse the effect's possible relationship with individuals' convictions about personality. A group of 83 psychology students attending their first year at the School of Psychology were asked to perform a doodle test, as in Kanizsa (1953), and were then given a personality profile (A or B). The students then estimated the degree of their agreement with the profile received and answered a questionnaire regarding their convictions about personality. The results showed that students mainly accepted their personality profile - as reported by Kanizsa (1953), and replicated by Zordan (2003). Most students defined personality as a set of traits that may or may not relate to the environment. Half of them considered their personality modifiable, and the other half did not. When the students were grouped according to whether or not they agreed with their personality profile, the two groups differed in terms of the students' convictions about how personality can be assessed.

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