The Daily Mail is reporting on a study by Johns Hopkins University and the University of South Caroline which found that people who believe in horoscopes and their inability to change their fate are much more tempted to change plans or renege on responsibilities than people who don’t look to the stars for direction in life.
Researchers gave people a pessimistic horoscope, then asked them to choose between going to a party or cleaning house. Those who believed in horoscopes were more likely to choose the party while non-believers chose to stay home and clean.
“Human nature drives us to believe in our own fate,” said the authors of the study, Hyeongmin Kim, Katina Kulow and Thomas Kramer.
“Conventional wisdom might suggest that for people who believe they can change their fate, an unfavorable horoscope should result in an attempt to improve their fate. Our results showed that reading an unfavorable horoscope actually has the opposite effect on a person.”
For those who believed in the star signs, “trying to resist the unfavorable horoscope required mental resources and so left them open to temptation,” the Mail explains. “Participants who believed in a fixed fate did not exert any mental energy on the subject, so were able to stay focused on the day ahead.”
The study is scheduled for publication in the Journal of Consumer Research.
You’ll never read a horoscope the same way again after learning the facts about this make-believe “science” in our Our Learn to Discern booklet – Astrology/Horoscopes.