Rashifal, Oct 31

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“The recent developments in your romantic or private life will be right at the top of your mind today, which could negatively affect your ability to focus on the work at hand. Your concentration skills are in for quite a struggle! Try to put yourself in the middle of a group if at all possible — the energy of the people around you will help you stay on track and stop you from mentally wandering off into daydreams. Volunteer for anything you can do to keep your hands and brain cells busy.”

We all know the rules to horoscopes – a daily advice column specific to each sign, suggesting broad advice for people to follow to help their day.  Some people follow these suggestions religiously, pouncing upon every opportunity to find guidance and validation to their hindrances and struggles, looking for answers to their purported plagues for being born in July, December, October, and the list goes on and on and on.

But have you figured out which sign this horoscope is for? If you guessed Gemini, then you’re spot on (albeit having a one out of twelve shot – good for you!). Yet, nothing allows for this specific horoscope to differentiate itself from an Aquarius or Scorpio or an Aries even. It doesn’t lend itself to “a dichotomous personality” likened to that of the Gemini twins, or shine an emerald green between each letter on this screen.

There is nothing stopping this advice for suiting someone born in a different month other than the title. The time of year you were born does not limit you in the aspects of your personality. Horoscopes are purposely written in an ambiguous tone to generalize the feelings of its readers, fostering an environment in which the reader can fall head over heels, believing that the stars and Mercury’s retrograde predicted their spilled coffee this morning or bad luck. This also materializes in different forms, such as graphology, astrology, phrenology, palmistry, psychic readings – you name it.

The likelihood of people to accept nebulous and vague descriptions (that are represented as specific to them) as reflections of themselves is called the Barnum effect; the term is named after P.T. Barnum of the Barnum & Bailey circus – the Barnum Effectliteral representation of these circus acts and hoaxes.

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