Anonymous asked in Entertainment & MusicHoroscopes · 1 decade ago

What do you all think of the study that proves horoscopes are vague and can apply to anyone?

a large group of people were all handed cards with horoscope type things on them, then they read them, and the majority of them said they thought the horoscope described them very well. then everyone passed their card to the person behind them and found out they were all the same.

6 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Your referring to the barnum effect or whatever it is called, and it is always very vargue as are most horoscopes.

    your horoscope, when done properly is not based on your sun (star) sign alone, but is designed specifically for you. however it is just an indication and nothing is every (or should be exact), and they are a more a 'theme' then hugely specific events.

    eg in dec 2007 and then again in late 2008, pluto (change, destruction, power, sex, death etc etc) moved into capricorn (business, government, work, organisation, time, fear, obstacles) for the first time in a few hundred years.

    although this is a world wide thing, you can see the accuracy in its prediction we had a world wide change of politics in alot of countries (obama, howard in oz etc) and of course the financial area got a roughing up.

    also interesting to see swine flu come into affect (death + fear)

    therefore some horoscopes can be accurate.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Horoscopes are VAGUE, made up statements. They rely on psychological exploitation to 'work'. Note the following: Conformation bias - A form of selective thinking in which one tends to ignore the facts that might undermine their beliefs but takes great notice of the ones that do support their beliefs. Self fulfilling prophecy - A statement made that in turn changes your actions to make the said statement come true. (Sub-consciously endowed). There is nothing worth noting about them. Ever wonder why there are so many different horoscopes for the same sign all over the internet?

  • 1 decade ago

    Basically, I think it's very difficult to test if astrology works or not.

    I'd like to say that I'm against weekly horoscopes, only birth charts are ok to me. I also want to say that sociological and psychological factors are also important in explaining personality.

    I read an abstract of that Carlson experiment (20 pages). I think this experiment is a good effort, but I think it could have 2 conclusions:

    1) Astrology is fake.

    2) We don't know yet if astrology works. It is very very difficult for someone to know himself or others. It requires a lot more efforts and time than what was made in this experiments (see "add-on" below). Psychological, sociological factors and a part of free will seem to be also important to determine our personalities.

    One experiment I would like to see: They give the subjects 2 portraits. Their astrological portrait and the exact opposite. Subjects are only old people (in Carlson's experiment they are too young!). Subjects are only people with a lot of fixed signs (since fixed signs will less change because of various influences). And then we see if more than 50% choose the right portrait or not.

    If someone has seen an experiment like that, I'm really interested!

    Add-on (a bit boring): In Carlson's experiment, they don't seem to consider sociological factors (ethnicity, class, IQs etc.). The astrological portraits should have been mixed with sociological portraits to make something more accurate. They should have made biographies of the subjects since events in our life can change our personality.

    They should have spend more time to do the psychological portraits. They just made one questionnary at a given time. It would be better to do one questionnary every year over 5, 10, ... years. Because our personnality changes, we have good and bad phases in our lives...

    These personnality tests made by psychanalysts could have other big bias. If someone doesn't know himself enough, he will give fake answers. Moreover, maybe the subject won't admit one of his personnnality trait (i. e. if you ask people if they are jealous, a lot of jealous people won't admit it). That happens a lot (i. e. if you ask people if they are racist, 10 % will tell it, if you test their reactions (by observing them very carefully), you can see that about 60% have racist behaviours).

    Source(s): Astropsychology sites in french. University.
  • 1 decade ago

    Here's the thing--astrology is not a hard science like chemistry or physics. Astrology is more akin to psychiatry or psychology. When it comes to human behavior there aren't any absolutes. Astrology is a behavioral tool- not used for the most part to "foretell the future" as critics revel in claiming. It is also part of a religion for many millions of people. Do you ask for definitive proof of the existence of heaven? Or Limbo? Belief is just that, I don't need to prove it and you shouldn't need to ask for it.

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  • Ta-da!
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Is there a link?

    This isn't a full experiment, there's no control group. They should've hired a real astrologer to test out their skills on these people, then there would be a control and a variable.

    It also sounds to me like a biased group of people was used. Why was everyone so easy to believe these cards? Why were there no skeptics? Sounds like the experimenters just wanted to disillusion a bunch of people, meaning they were themselves already biased AGAINST astrology and weren't neutral.

    But I could've told you newspaper forecasts are generally trash (not all, but most).

  • 1 decade ago

    You must mean the first link below. But there has been many well designed (with controls) tests. Some real time and money have been spent on these. (I can find more some links when I get home.) One in 1985 stands out.

    An expert astrologer draws up your detailed chart based on your accurate natal data. You are given this horoscope, and two others of different people. Would you be able to tell which one is yours? Because if not, what does it mean to say that astrology works? Whenever this test is done, people are not able to do this with any greater probability than pure chance. (i.e. one in three would get it right.)

    Possibly the most detailed test of astrology using this type of method, was performed by Shawn Carlson. His paper, “A Double-blind Test of Astrology”, was published in the peer reviewed scientific journal Nature, in 1985. The interesting thing is that the San Francisco chapter of the National Council for Geocosmic Research recommended the 28 professional astrologers who took part, and (with Carlson), designed the tests. They also predicted, in advance, what they would consider to be a successful test.

    Two tests were performed:

    Test #1: Astrological charts were prepared for 83 subjects, based on natal data (date, time and place of birth), provided by the subjects. Each subject was given three charts: one chart based on their own natal data, and two charts derived from natal data of other people. Each subject was asked to identify the chart that most correctly described them. In only 28 of the 83 cases, the subject chose their own chart. This is the exact success rate expected for random chance. The astrologers predicted that the subjects would select their own chart more that 50% of the time.

    Test #2: 116 subjects completed California Personality Index surveys and provided natal data (date, time and place of birth). One set of natal data and the results of three personality surveys (one of which was for the same person as the natal data) were given to an astrologer who was to interpret the natal data and determine which of the three CPI results belonged to the same subject as the natal data. In only 40 of the 116 cases, the astrologers chose the correct CPI. As with test #1, this is the exact success rate expected for random chance. The astrologers predicted that they would select the correct CPI profiles in more that 50 per cent of the trials.

    Conclusion by Carlson:

    "We are now in a position to argue a surprisingly strong case against natal astrology as practiced by reputable astrologers. Great pains were taken to insure that the experiment was unbiased and to make sure that astrology was given every reasonable chance to succeed. It failed. Despite the fact that we worked with some of the best astrologers in the country, recommended by the advising astrologers for their expertise in astrology and in their ability to use the CPI, despite the fact that every reasonable suggestion made by advising astrologers was worked into the experiment, despite the fact that the astrologers approved the design and predicted 50% as the "minimum" effect they would expect to see, astrology failed to perform at a level better than chance.

    "I have not yet received a serious scientific challenge to the paper. The newsletter of the American Federation of Astrologers Network published a response in January (1986). I was very disappointed to see that it largely consists of personal attacks. Its few substantive criticisms are attributable to ignorance of the experiment, of the CPI, and of basic scientific methodology."

    So the astrologers failed their own test. Does this mean they gave up astrology as being useless? Of course not: they are totally closed minded to the possibility that astrology doesn’t work.

    I expect to get hostile responses. But can anyone here come up with a test that would be accepted by all sides?

    Edit: I'd like evidence for heaven and limbo, blind belief is not my nature. What is the difference blind belief and plain made up?

    How good is it for a behavioral tool? Attempts for personality based astrology is still no better than one in twelve. In other words random chance. But, let's say there was evidence that astrology was accurate for one in six. Statistical support yes, but still astrology is wrong much more than it is right. Even if it was one in three, it is wrong more than right. So why would it be useful for something like psychiatry when more than likely it will be wrong.

    Should something being used as a tool be more successful than failing?

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