Online Reference For Body, Mind & Spirit

Term: Barnum Statement


Description of a sentence used in a cold reading that could apply to anyone but, when given by a professional, sound as if they might apply only to you. Examples include:

 “You have a tendency to be critical of yourself. At times you have serious doubts as to whether you have made the right decision or done the right thing.”

“You wish those close to you would see you more for your strengths and not focus on your weaknesses, especially in your relationships.”

“You have a great deal of unused capacity which you have not turned to your advantage.”

Amateurs would simply repeat them. Professionals try to understand the concepts behind them and insert versions of them in their fake readings only when appropriate.