11-Mar-87 10:37 MST
Sb: APil 03/10 Astrology Debunked
By MEG REYNOLDS Associated Press Writer
CHICAGO (AP) -- Those who call themselves professional astrologists may have
nothing over the average person to qualify them for the job, a Chicago
psychology researcher says.
"I think the conclusion has to be rather negative," John McGrew, a psychology
intern at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center, said Monday of his study
comparing professional astrologists and non-astrologists.
McGrew put a group of six professional astrologists to a test, comparing
their responses to those of 10 undergraduates from the University of Indiana.
The astrologers were given personality profiles of 23 volunteers, all over
age 30, and were asked to match them with the volunteers, based on birth
information the volunteers provided.
The study found that lay people, those who know nothing at all about
astrology, were as accurate as the astrologers in linking up birth information
with the individual volunteers.
"They (the non-astrologers) looked at the place of birth, for example, and
said: `OK, this person comes from a small rural town in Indiana. That means he
doesn't like big cities,"' McGrew said.
The astrologers, on the the other hand, used the volunteers' birth
information to draw painstaking charts of the positions of the earth, planets
and stars at the time of the volunteer's birth.
Even so, McGrew said, their results were no better than the non-astrologers.
"I've had so many friends tell me at one time or other that it (astrology)
has helped them," he said.
Based on the results obtained, the answer to whether astrology is valid must
be "no," he said.
McGrew, who conducted his study in conjunction with the Indiana Federation of
Astrologers, presented his results at a recent conference of the American
Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago.
The Indiana Astrology Federation also supplied the astrologers, he said,
adding that the group selected its best for the test, including two astrologers
who have written books on the subject. Others wrote newspaper astrology columns,
The results were "very disappointing" to the organization, he said.
"They were polite and very brave and very fair but also disappointed," McGrew
But a spokeswoman for the Indiana astrologers group, Carol Mull,
said astrology is a discipline like theology and law and is not a science.
"It doesn't lend itself ... to black-and-white testing," she said.
Copyright 1987 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.