11-Mar-87 10:37 MST Sb: APil 03/10 Astrology Debunked By MEG REYNOLDS Associated Press Wri

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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, McGrew said. The results were "very disappointing" to the organization, he said. "They were polite and very brave and very fair but also disappointed," McGrew said. 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. <<>>

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