Everyone's personality is the same!
June 13, 2008 12:15 PM   Subscribe

Help me find a video I saw a couple of months ago: It's a clip of a foreign tv show where the host asks a bunch of random people to write their names, and afterwards he gives them each a private envelope that describes the that individual's personality. Everyone says that their envelope is amazingly accurate. In the end, he asks each person to switch envelopes with one another, and they all see that the same thing is written in every envelope.

Sorry if I'm not being clear. Basically, the paper that describes the personality is vague, complementary, and far-reaching enough that everyone feels like they can relate to it. Everyone thinks that the host somehow knows everything about them, when in fact, everyone's envelope is identical.

I'm pretty sure I saw the video on Digg, but I'm not positive and my google-fu is failing me.

I found this video particularly interesting because a couple of years back, I went on a site that was very similar. I typed in my name and it described my personality, which I thought was very accurate (although, in hindsight, it was mostly vague, saying like, "you're shy, but you are confident when you need to be"). Bonus points if you can find that site as well.

Sorry for the long explanation, but mefites, I need your help!
posted by carpyful to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
James Randi on Astrology
posted by martinrebas at 12:17 PM on June 13, 2008

Also, here are some vague personality assessments.
posted by martinrebas at 12:22 PM on June 13, 2008

Best answer: I'm pretty sure it was Derren Brown. Check youtube for clips of him.
posted by o0dano0o at 12:23 PM on June 13, 2008

Best answer: I don't have sound at work, but I think it might be this video.
posted by o0dano0o at 12:28 PM on June 13, 2008

FWIW, this is called the Forer effect. It's been around awhile...
posted by mr_roboto at 1:16 PM on June 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

It's definitely Derren Brown - I saw this programme.

On googling, it seems to be "Trick of the Mind", Series 3, episode 1. (Also called episode 13).
posted by badmoonrising at 3:14 PM on June 13, 2008

If you want to watch it again, I found the episode on question on several of the 'watch tv programmes online' sites. I won't link here in case it's against MeFi rules, but let me know if you have trouble tracking it down...
posted by badmoonrising at 3:26 PM on June 13, 2008

I just watched the link I posted with sound - pretty sure that's the one. Around 7:20 into it they trade predictions and see they are all the same.
posted by o0dano0o at 3:57 PM on June 13, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks everyone, it was Derren Brown (though the clown bit threw me off initially). I really appreciate it!

As for those curious, I found the site that I used to find what my name "means":

It isn't as detailed as it used to be. It's funny/embarrassing to think that I used to think that it was accurate -__-
posted by carpyful at 4:48 PM on June 13, 2008

I'd love to see what the "reading" said...
posted by SassHat at 4:57 PM on June 13, 2008

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