And so on through dozens of events and associated people. Indeed, the statue is an innovative Uranus national monument resting on Sun-ruled granite and lit by electricity Uranus. Everywhere we look we find the predicted Sun-Uranus links. Odd-numbered signs from Aries onward are said to be extroverted. The rest are said to be introverted. When taken together with opinion polls, the results suggest that one in three people believes sufficiently in sun signs to measurably shift their self-image in the believed direction—of which a tiny fraction may believe sufficiently to bias their choice of partner as in the previous section.
Charles Carter, the leading British astrologer of the s, was noted for exceptional clarity of expression. Could astrologers match them correctly? The outcome was maybe yes but mostly no. Since then, more tests have been made that bring the total to sixty-nine, and new ways have been developed to analyze the results.
For example, the correlation between a reading and reality can be plotted against sample size to clarify what is happening. The plots in Figure 1 show how it works. The studies in Figure 1 are too numerous and too consistent with hundreds of other studies to be easily dismissed. Also, their subsequent meta-analysis shows that the differences between results are entirely explained by sampling errors, which leaves nothing for astrology and astrologers to explain; to paraphrase Pierre-Simon Laplace, we have no need of such hypotheses.
But for completeness, we should still look at some of those other studies as shown in Figure 2. The power and sensitivity of our tests so far are beyond anything the ancients could have dreamed of. For his PhD in psychology, German astrologer and psychotherapist Peter Niehenke circulated copies of a item questionnaire for testing astrological claims. It was advertised in two newspapers and a New Age magazine and by notices at Freiburg University. He duly received 3, responses requiring more than reams of paper , of which 3, provided usable birth data, of which 62 percent were from birth certificates.
The questions had been tested in a pilot study to make sure they were free of problems. Each was relevant to a given factor planet, sign, house, or aspect to see if the subjects identified with that factor regardless of whether it was actually in their birth chart. Overall, no result was consistently in support of astrology. In , U.
But when applied to actual birth data grouped by, say, occupation or events, the results if positive which was not often failed to replicate. There was no evidence that astrological claims were valid: nothing actually worked. He asked for an explanation, but nobody had a clue. So he abandoned astrology to follow other interests. Do astrologers get right answers from wrong charts?
If they do, then their fundemental premise as above so below is disconfirmed. The idea might seem difficult to test—what astrologer wants to read wrong charts? The astrologer gives a reading that satisfies the client but the wrong chart has been used. It makes no difference how wrong it is—by hours, days, or years—the chart still works. Astrologers recognize this but see it as some occult property of astrology that puts it beyond human understanding.
Skeptics may disagree. They used statistical testing and large samples mostly from the nineteenth century. Their results for traditional astrology signs, aspects, transits were consistently negative. Nothing worked. Therefore they were surprised to obtain positive results for what was later called the Mars effect and, later still, planetary effects because the Moon, Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn were also involved : the tendency for eminent professionals to be born when the planet matching their occupation such as Mars for sports champions, Jupiter for actors had just risen or culminated.
Planetary effects were new in that, unlike previous factors, they were critically dependent on the hour of birth. Statistically, the effects were often very significant, which to astrologers meant strength.
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So the effects were actually weak and were significant only because large samples were tested typically more than 1, Indeed, the effects were so weak that if applied to clients, on average only two would get readings more accurate than tossing a coin—and even then only if they were among the one in 20, who were eminent.
Yet the effects replicated and were not explainable by faulty procedures see Figure 3. Ironically, planetary effects created baffling puzzles even for astrology. Why only five planets?
Why no effect for the sun or for signs and aspects? Why occupation and not personality? Why contrary to all expectations are planetary effects larger for less-precise birth times? And why are there such strange effects in the first place? For forty years, nobody had a clue. Astrologers predictably saw the effect as proof of the higher realities in which astrology is said to operate.
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But after eight years of work, I uncovered a new artifact capable of explaining all the puzzles—namely the misreporting of birth times to match the pop astrology of the day Dean The level of misreporting was very small, but then again so were the planetary effect sizes—and as opportunities for misreporting disappeared, so did planetary effects.
In any case, planetary effects are far too weak to be of practical use to astrologers. But might consolation be found in Indian astrology, claimed by Indian astrologers to be vastly better than anything available in the West? Indian astrology is hugely different from Western astrology. It is more complex, uses the sidereal zodiac, and fortune-telling is the norm. The scientific revolution that eroded astrology in seventeenth century Europe did not happen in India, so it has had a free run ever since.
Today it is firmly entrenched at all levels of Indian society. They gave each of twenty-seven volunteering Indian astrologers mean experience fourteen years a different set of forty timed charts each, and a team of astrologers timed charts a larger number than in any Western test , to see if they could tell bright children from mentally retarded children. This is a commonly accepted claim in India, but neither group outperformed tossing a coin. At a given moment, the birth chart supposedly indicates trait X, the next moment it is trait Y, and so on.
So time twins should be more alike in X than expected by chance, which makes them the definitive test of astrology, since all confounding reading artifacts are avoided.
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In a city of one million people, more than 2 percent will have a time twin born within one minute, about the same proportion as people with an ordinary twin, and about 20 percent will have a time twin born within ten minutes. Indeed, the number of time twins in Western history is so enormous hundreds of millions that many similarities in personality and events will occur by chance alone. So the handful of cases routinely cited by astrologers cannot hope to be convincing. To minimize variations in birth place, we analyzed only those born in Greater London. Birth times for 92 percent of cases were reported to the nearest five minutes, and the rest to the nearest minute.
For each person, we selected a total of variables measured at ages eleven, sixteen, and twenty-three that were said to be shown in the birth chart such as ability, accident proneness, behavior, occupation, personality, and physical data such as height, weight, vision, and hearing. Data collection had required whole armies of researchers well beyond anything astrologers could achieve. For the purposes of testing astrology, this database was a dream come true. But for astrology itself the results were a nightmare: support for astrological claims was nowhere in sight.
For example, Saturn sets every day momentarily exactly on the horizon, a position traditionally held to greatly boost its strength.
At that time in London on March 6, , it was also square the Moon within 0. It was not just a strong Saturn event; it was also the strongest Saturn event for the entire week. Saturn is held to indicate restriction and limitation , so its effect should show up as a dip in measures of ability. But it did not see Figure 4.
The political and economic uncertainty caused by divisive world leaders, not to mention Brexit , is almost certainly good news for astrologers. And maybe we should not be too hard on them given that absolutely no one seems to have a clue about what the future holds at the moment. Anything that appears to provide a glimpse of what is waiting around the next corner may give someone a better sense of control, even if that sense of control is illusory.
So why do so many people believe what they are told by astrologers? One reason is simply that it generally does make sense to believe what we are told by authority figures and experts despite what Michael Gove may think.
In with the new
A full horoscope chart is very complex and open to many interpretations. It is not surprising that the believer can find apparent correspondences between it and the rich tapestry of their own lives. It appears that there is currently an increase in popularity among women in the age bracket. Magazines and websites aimed at this demographic are embracing astrology in a way that they have not done before.
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Women have always been more likely to believe in astrology than men — a Gallup poll revealed 28 per cent of women believed compared to 23 per cent of men. Women are generally encouraged to be more in tune with their intuitions and emotions than men even in the 21 st century. In an era when young women are also expected to be more independent than ever before, it is perhaps not surprising that some will turn to astrology in an attempt to cope with the challenges that entails. They ignore false predictions and remember true predictions, because this is how the brain works.
It finds connections by correlation and ignores all the information that don't correlate. To make true predictions appear frequently, the horoscope prediction is very vague. You may believe that people that were born in the cold winter may have a little different character than people who were born in the summer, but the astrology has detailed predictions and this is quite ridiculous.
If after this explanation you still insist that the predictions are true.
You may try pick another sign and see how it fits your life for a period of time - you will find out that the predictions are still true.