View Full Version : A resource for cold reading, Barnum and Rainbow statements?

03-01-2010, 12:32 PM
Hello everyone.

On a whim I thought I'd add this to my story, just to see if I can make it work and add a level. But I'll need a few so I'm looking for a resource with an archive of Rainbow and/or Barnum statements. They don't need to be famous or have been in use, even though that would be nice.

Google gets me tonnes of hits, but all I've found is a bunch of sceptics pages debunking it offering the odd example (and often the same examples). Which is nice, but not what I'm looking for. I need quite a lot for my WP.

Alternatively you could post your favourite here. And I'm sure it'll be fun for a laugh for anyone stopping by. Here's a few good ones I've found so far:

"Most of the time you are positive and cheerful, but there has been a time in the past when you were very upset."
"You are a very kind and considerate person, but when somebody does something to break your trust, you feel deep-seated anger."
"I would say that you are mostly shy and quiet, but when the mood strikes you, you can easily become the center of attention."
"You are sometimes insecure, especially with people you don't know very well."
"You're having problems with a friend or relative."
"You tend to be too critical of yourself"
"You have considerable unused capacities that you have not yet turned to your advantage."
"At times you have serious doubts whether you made the right decision or did the right thing."
"Some of your goals are rather unrealistic."
"You have a need for other people to like and admire you."
"You have a generous and giving nature, even though there has been times when you’ve acted in a rather selfish way."

Just to clarify. I'm not looking for descriptions of cold reading techniques. These questions will be delivered on paper, so it won't be possible for any kind of dynamic delivery.


03-01-2010, 03:08 PM
Would a collection of astrology predictions work? That's the first thing I think of when it comes to Barnum statements, especially the simple ones such as those published daily in newspapers in the US. I've never looked at them, but I assume there are astrology pages all over the 'net. The other thing I think of is annual employee reviews; they are often of the Barnum nature, even though they're not meant to be.

You could also start a thread here in Office Party and make a game of it. I'm sure some of the people here could come up with a few Barnum statements.

03-01-2010, 03:34 PM
Good idea. I must admit I'd never thought of those as Rainbow statements, even though it is pretty obvious.

Game is on:

03-01-2010, 11:37 PM
Wikipedia actually gives a pretty good list of resources, but I was going to recommend you start with Ray Hyman's article (http://www.skepdic.com/Hyman_cold_reading.htm).

As far as lists, I have seen some, but lacking any better ideas, I think I'd just go to the library and see what they have. How many examples do you need? I can throw a bunch off the top of my head.


I see an initial J. Someone with a J-name is important to you.
You care most about a few people who are close to you.
An elderly woman is watching over you in the afterlife.
You have recently experienced a great loss.

Most fortune cookies are like this, and there are some fortune generators on the web also. I agree, horoscopes are pretty much all this stuff also.

You're normally organized, but right now, things are starting to slip.
You're careful, but once in a while, you make mistakes.

03-02-2010, 12:47 AM
I found this one. Excellent


I'm not sure how many I'll need. I don't think I could ever get enough. It's like asking when my WP is ready. It's ready when it's torn from my hands.

03-02-2010, 01:04 AM
I'm a little surprised no one added to the list in Office Party. I figured the gang would have fun coming up with goofy ones of their own.

Oh, well . . . I'll just have to do 200 more! ;-)

03-02-2010, 12:07 PM
You're good at this. You could make money on the side as a psychic! It'll pay for your writing compulsion.