Would You Fall for That? Horoscopes

Part 1: Would different people all assume the same horoscope applied to them alone?
9:19 | 07/26/13

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Transcript for Would You Fall for That? Horoscopes
LensCrafters Sasheer, what's your sign? Oh, now we're doing social experiments on cheesy pick-up lines? . Reporter: If you were, you'd be the lead on that. Sasheer? Taurus. Reporter: You have a great need for other people to like you and admire you, yet you have a tendency to be critical of yourself. Oh, that is so sasheer. It's true. How did they get that so right? Reporter: They didn't, really. This is a generic horoscope, cut and pasted from a bunch of different newspapers by a psychology professor years before you were even born. And he's got a theory as to why horoscopes work and why people believe them. If you've ever read your horoscope, if you've ever believed your horoscope, you're going to find this very, very interesting. We tried out this theory on regular folks. First, we needed to find people to take part in our psychological experiment and we began in new york's central park. Distributing flyers ridiculously thin on detail, an e-mail address we registered five minutes before printing and a request to commit three hours to an unnamed show at some studio in midtown manhattan. Then we got to work, transforming this empty studio int we imagined would be the set of an astrology tv show. Candles, candles and some more candles. With the help of a green screen, we even created a fake trailer. Within you, there is a star. I will bring it out. We printed our own book covers and slipped them over real books. I mean, any astrologer worth his salt has written a book, right? There's my picture and my new pseudonym -- dr. Lane hoerst. Which is an anagram, "he's not real." Published by wyfft publishing, which you might recognize. We employed an old counterfeiter's trick, spilling coffee on new documents -- let me spill a little coffee over here. Reporter: To make our fake star charts look a bit more legit. Scott is playing the producer of dr. Lane's upcoming tv show. You're here for a special treat. Reporter: And sasheer, in her sparkly jacket, she's playing dr. Lane's cohost. And me, well I'm dr. Lane hoerst. Of course I am. But I know nothing about astrology. Nothing. The real producer gave me a quick crash course in the stars and the planets. Make it, it's part of your ability. Reporter: Okay, we were dressed, our props were ready, and the stage was set. But would you fall for that? We built it and they came. Hey! Reporter: We're under way. We told them this was a pilot for a tv show. Turn your cell phones off because you're getting mic'd up. Reporter: The producers wanted their honest assessment of this hotshot astrologer from europe, dr. Lane hoerst. Is he the real deal? This is sherry, "ms. Believer." My aura color is red. Reporter: C.J., "mr. Skeptic." I've always been kind of, like, skeptical. Reporter: Karim, "mr. Educated." I recently graduated from college. Reporter: Morgan, "ms. Shy." I kind of lay low sometimes. Reporter: Anthony, "mr. Poker face." and john, "mr. Soft-spoken." And the young man said, "do you want to do a show?" And here I am. Reporter: Scott ushered them in and baited the hook. How you doing? Great. Good. All right, so, welcome. Thank you so much for joining us. This will be a very exciting day for you. You're in for a special treat with dr. Lane hoerst. Dr. Lane is a world-renowned astrologer, best-selling author. He's so big in the uk right now. This guy does royal family -- Reporter: Nice work scott. Nothing sells like the royal family. This guy has an extensive waiting list. People pay a lot of money, you're getting a free reading here, so you're welcome. Part of his method, we need you to fill out this questionnaire. Reporter: With questions like, "what is your favorite utensil?" They all answered. Their heads were in the stars. He's going to use the questionnaire to deliver personalized reading for each of you. He's going to read it to you privately, one on one -- Reporter: I waited anxiously in my candle lit lair, for the real reason we brought them here, for the actual experiment to begin. A real world test of the 60-year-old theory. Forget their birth dates, forget the questionnaire, I was about to read all these people exactly the same horoscope written by dr. Bertram forer more than 60 years ago. Copying and pasting from newspaper horoscopes, forer created a general profile that he soon discovered his students all believed not only to be accurate, but written specifically for them. Could we read everyone the exact same horoscope and have them believe it's unique, it's theirs, that I've somehow seen inside their souls? Reporter: How are you? Please sit down. Please sit down. I was about to find out. So, let's get to specifics, karim. You have a need for other people to like and admire you, but i feel -- I don't feel, I know, you are also self-critical. Oh, definitely. Very, very much so. I can feel that at times. Reporter: You have a great need for other people to like and admire you, but I feel you have a tendency to be self-critical. Yes. And if I don't do 110%, then I'm dissatisfied with myself. Reporter: So far, so good. They are finding themselves in this profile written long before they walked into our studio, written long before most of them were even born. Listen closely, and I'm sure you'll find aspects of your own personality in the profile. I know I did. You pride yourself as an independent thinker, and you won't accept other people's statements without adequate proof. That's -- yeah. That's great. Wow, that's weird. Reporter: It's not weird. It's the truth. That's cool. Reporter: Yourself not going to accept the statements of others without adequate proof. Yes. I would agree with that. Reporter: Okay. You're an independent thinker and you will not accept other people's statements without adequate proof. Yes. Reporter: No one's picking the wool over your eyes. No, not at all. Reporter: Well, maybe a little, but this isn't a trick -- it's science. The same horoscope we're reading to each participant contains general truths that apply to everyone. The question was whether or not I could make them believe I had written it just for them. You prefer a certain amount of change and variety in your life and I think that you become dissatisfied when you, when you feel hemmed in by others, and limitations are placed upon you. Yeah. I feel change is good. Reporter: I sense that you're a person who likes variety and change. I'm getting a lot of that from you. Wow, do you really know me, huh? You really do. You're right on the money right now, you know. Reporter: Over and over, we discovered that people would see themselves in our one horoscope. You found it unwise to be too frank in revealing yourself to others. Definitely. You're right. Oh, you hit the nail on the head on that one. Reporter: The science is right. People really fell for it. The major goal for you in life is security. Yes. Reporter: Security is one of your major goals in life. Yes. Absolutely. Once I have this roof over my head that I own fully, I feel secure. Reporter: It looked like that generic horoscope had really hit the mark for each of them. Do you feel I know you too well? Yeah. Are we related? Reporter: Do you think I know you? Yeah. Wow. Reporter: I feel I've got you. Sure, they bought it in the darkness of my lair, but would they say the same things without me there? Scott will show you downstairs. All right. Pretty freaky, huh? Yeah. There was a reason we gave him a tv show, you know? It was great, it was wonderful. Pretty wild man, yeah. So how was your experience, morgan? Very -- it was awesome. Yeah? Yeah. It opened my eyes, definitely. He really, really, was really on target. It was wonderful. Reporter: At this point, we realized it was working very, very well. Perhaps even too well. It was kind of scary for him to be getting that. Really? Reporter: Their reactions were beginning to make me nervous. What he was saying was really hitting home. Reporter: They hadn't just believed dr. Lane was real, they believed his advice was real as well. He got all these things right on the nail and it just, it's, it's taken me offguard. I'm still shocked that he -- i wasn't really a believer of stuff like this. I've always been kind of, like, skeptical. Yeah. I'm a little freaked out, to be honest. Reporter: Had we gone too far? Like something I've never, you know, ever experienced. He tells you the truth about yourself. Things that I don't let out to other people. Reporter: These people really fell for dr. Lane and believed their readings. Now I was going to have to tell them that dr. Lane wasn't real at all. How would they react? Would they be upset? Angry? What would they do? Now, I'd like the person who sees themselves in that profile to raise your hand right now. And nobody, not even a real astrologer, could have predicted what happened next. ]

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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