To: All Msg #63, Oct-05-93 10:36AM Subject: Re: astrology Amy () wrote: : Hey everybody. I
From: Grant Edwards
To: All Msg #63, Oct-05-93 10:36AM
Subject: Re: astrology
Organization: Rosemount, Inc.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Grant Edwards)
Amy () wrote:
: Hey everybody. I have a question or two. I just wrote a paper on astrology.
: In it I discussed the experiments that "proved" it as a science, as well as
: the experiments that "disproved" it as a science. Now what I'd like to know
: is, what do you think? Does astrology work? Is there scientific validity to
: it, or is it just a pseudoscience? I'd appreciate your opinions on the
: topic. Please post a reply or send e-mail to decrstfr@bucknell. edu.
I think that astrology is complete and unadulterated BS. Since you wrote
a paper on astrology you've probably already seen some of these references,
but I haven't posted them in a while so I'll post them again.
I have not included references on the Gauquelin mars effect, which has
been covered by other threads in far greater detail. Here are the
references I've collected so far -- in no particular order:
Zodiac and Personality: An Empirical Study
Skeptical Inquirer, 6:3, 57
Compiled personality profiles from biographies of 2000 sports figures,
actors, scientists, and writers. Compared these profiles with
personality traits associated with the sign of the sun, moon, and
ascendant according to eight astrology texts. No correlation was
found using either the sidereal or tropical zodiac.
Press, N., Michelsen, N.F., Russel, L., Shannon, J., Stark, M.
The New Yourk Suicide Study
Journal of Geocosmic Research, 2, 23-47
Examined records of suicides in NYC from 1969 to 1973. Selected all
suicides who were born in NYC and for which birth data was available.
This resulted in 311 suicide cases. For each of these, a control
subject was randomly chosen who was born in the same borough and
year. The suicides and matching controls were divide into three
groups according to year of suicide.
A computer program was used to test 100,000 different astrological
factors in each of the 622 birth charts for significance between
suicide and control groups. None of the factors consistently
correlated with the suicide cases.
Sun Sign Sunset
Van Deusen, E.
Culver, R., Ianna, P.
Astronomy Quarterly, 1, 147
The above three references examined the correlation between sun sign
and over 60 occupations. The results of all three were negative -- no
correlation was found between occupation and sun sign.
Dean G., Mather, A.
Recent Advances in Natal Astrology
The Astrological Association
Silverman, B., Witmer, M.
Astrological Indicators of Personality
Journal of Psychology, 87, 89
Season of Birth
American Elsevier Publishing
The Astrological Theory of Personality
Journal of Psychology, 85, 21
The above 4 references all found no correlation between sun sign and
personality traits as measured by standardized psychological tests,
mostly the California Personality Inventory (CPI). However, Pellegrini
found a slight correlation between the CPI femininity index and season
Illingworth, D., Syme, G.
Birthday and Femininity
Journal of Social Psychology, 103, 153
Astrology or Season of Birth: A 'Split-Sphere' Test
Journal of Psychology, 95, 285
These two studies found no correlation between sun sign and
personality traits measured by the CPI, including the femininity
Mayes, B., Klugh, H.
Birthdate Psychology: A Look at Some New Data
Journal of Psychology 99, 27
Compiled natal charts and results of Minnesota Multiphasic Personality
Inventory and the Leary Interpersonal Check List for 196 subjects.
Compared 13 personality traits with sun signs, signs and houses of the
moon and 8 planets, and with five planetary aspects. No correlations
Mayo, J., White, O., Eysenck, H.
An Empirical Study of the Relation between Astrology Factors and
Journal of Clinical Psychology, 105, 229
Extroversion, Neuroticism, and Date of Birth: A Southern Hemisphere
Journal of Psychology, 101, 197
These two studies found correlations between astrological factors and
the Introversion/Extroversion index of the Eysenck Personality
Veno, A., Pammunt, P.
Astrological Factors and Personality: a Southern Hemisphere
Journal of Psychology, 101, 73
Failed to duplicate the correlation found above.
Pawlik, K., Buse, L.,
Self-attribution as a Differential Psychological Moderating Variable
Zeitschrift fur Sozilpsychologie, 10, 54
Showed that the correlation above could be explained by the fact that
some of the subjects knew what the expected results would be for their
Astrology: Science or Superstition?
Encounter, Dec 1979, p85
Jackson, M., Fiebert, M. S.
Introversion-Extroversion and Astrology
Journal of Psychology, 105, 155
Saklofske, D., Kelly, I., McKerracher, D.
An Empirical Study of Personality and Astrological Factors
Journal of Psychology, 110, 275
These three studies found no correlation between astrological factors
(sun and planetary) and personality, including the
introversion/extroversion index of the Eysenck Personality Inventory.
Culver, R., Ianna, P.
Astrology: True or False, p215
A double blind test of astrologer John McCall was organized at the
University of Virginia by Charles Tolvert and Philip Ianna. McCall
claimed an 80 percent success rate in choosing the correct natal
horoscope for a subject from three false ones. Twenty-eight subjects
were chosen according to McCalls requirements (naturally born
caucasians). McCall had 7 successes out of 28 trials, exactly the
number predicted by chance.
Silverman, Bernie I.,
Contemporary Astronomy by J. Pasachoff, cf p437
W. B. Saunders
Kop, P., Heuts, B.
Journal of Interdisciplenary Cycle Research 5, 19
The above 2 studies found no correlation between marriage/divorce rate
and sun sign combinations in the state of Michigan and the city of
Case Western Reserve University
Found that the sun signs of 6,000 politicians and 10,000 scientists
were randomly distributed.
A Double-blind Test of Astrology
Nature, 318, 419
116 adults filled out California Personality Index surveys and
provided natal data. 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.
The San Francisco chapter of the National Council for Geocosmic
Research recommended the 28 astrologers who took part. They approved
the procedure in advance and predicted that they would select the
correct CPI profiles in more that 50 per cent of the trials.
Out of 116 trials, the astrologers chose the correct CPI 34 per cent
of the time. This agrees with the random chance prediction of 1 of 3
trails producing a correct choice.
Horoscopes were prepared by professional astronomers for 83 subjects.
Each subject was given three charts, one of which belonged to the
subject. In 28 of 83 trials the subject chose the correct chart.
This is the success rate expected for random chance.
(trying to find reference)
Astrological readings were done for a groups of subjects. The content
of some of the readings were reversed (changed phrases describing the
subject to their opposites).
Subjects reported that both the reversed and normal readings applied
95 per cent of the time.
L'Influence des Astres, Etude Critique et Experimentale
Found no correlation between occupation and the zodiac signs
containing Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and the Moon at the
time of birth.
The Cosmic Clocks, p84
Henry Regnery Co.
Found random distribution of the house containing Saturn for
successful individuals, and the house containing Mars for murderers.
Barth, J., Bennet, J.
Leonardo 7, 235
Found no correlation between occupation, medical problems, height,
longevity, and the zodiac signs containing Mercury, Venus, Mars, and
Jupiter at the time of birth.
Culver, R., Ianna, P.
Astronomy Quarterly, 1, 85
Pretty much the same study and results as the previous reference.
Additionally, no correlation was found between occupation, medical
problems, etc. and angular separation (along the ecliptic) of planet
pairs at time of birth.
Does Astrology Need to be True? Part 1: A Look at the Real Thing
Skeptical Inquirer, 11, 166
Astrologers prepared horoscopes for subjects correct natal data.
Reversed charts were then constructed from the correct charts by
retaining the sun sign, but reversing all of the planetary aspects.
Half of the subjects were given correct charts, the other half were
given reversed charts. There was no correlation between the perceived
accuracy of the charts and whether the subject was given a correct or
Unpublished word described in Dean, 1987.
Horoscopes were prepared for correct natal data and for a birth date 5
years and 6 months before the correct date, with the correct sun sign
retained. Thirty subjects were given the correct and incorrect
charts. Half of the subjects picked the correct chart, half chose the
Sent by Brad Gibson (email@example.com):
(1) Carlson, S. "A Double Blind Test of Astrology", Nature, 318, 419 (1985)
-- the above is a "must-read"
(2) Carlson, S. "Astrology", Experimentia, 44, 290 (1988)
(3) Kelly, I. "Astrology and Science: A Critical Examination", Psychological
Reports, 44, 1231 (1979)
For more references, please refer to "Astrology: True or False" by Culver &
Ianna (1988, Prometheus Books). Also, more scientific references can be
found in "Mercury" magazince (a publication of the Astronomical Society
of the Pacific).
Jim Lippard (Lippard@CCIT.ARIZONA.EDU) added the following:
McGrew, John H., McFall, Richard M.
A Scientific Inquiry Into the Validity of Astrology
Journal of Scientific Exploration, 4, 75-83
Abstract--Six expert astrologers independently attempted to match
23 astrological birth charts to the corresponding case files of 4
male and 19 female volunteers. Case files contained information on
the volunteers' life histories, full-face and profile photographs,
and test profiles from the Strong-Campbell Vocational Interest Blank
and the Cattell 16-P.F. Personality Inventory. Astrologers did no
better than chance or than a nonastrologer control subject at
matching the birth charts to the personal data; this result was
independent of astrologers' confidence ratings for their predicted
matches. Astrologers also failed to agree with one another's
Marbell, Neil Z., Novak, Angela R., Heal, Laird W., Fleming, Land D.,
Burton, Jeannine Marie
Self Selection of Astrologically Derived Personality Descriptions:
An Empirical Test of the Relationship Between Astrology and Psychology
NCGR Journal, Winter 1986-87, 29-44
Abstract--Twenty-four female subjects were asked to recognize as
true or untrue complex personality characteristics describing themselves
and to select one of three personality profiles as their own; personality
information had been derived by "blinded" astrologers from natal charts
representing the moment of birth. Three different experiments varied as
to the complexity of the astrologically derived personality characteristics,
method of test material administration, and subjects' knowledge of the
astrological basis for personality information. Overall results for the
three experiments evaluated using cumulative binomial distribution were
significantly non-random, with p<.001 for 15 valid trials and p<.01
for all 24 trials including nine found non-eligible for inclusion. These
results supported the validity of astrology's capability to generate
unique personality descriptors that subjects affirm by selection as
representative of their own personalities.
[Comment on this last one: This is in an astrology publication (the journal
of the National Council for Geocosmic Research) and the description of
the methodology is a bit vague in places, as are the reasons why some of
the subjects were disqualified. The article is followed, however, by
letters from various people praising the methodology--including the
late CSICOP Fellow George Abell and Allan Teger, Boston University
professor and former program director for social and developmental psychology
for the National Science Foundation. These letters all date from the late
seventies. There's also a letter from Paul Kurtz in support of Marbell's
application for NSF money for an astrological study, but you can't tell from
the letter whether Kurtz saw the details of these particular experiments.]
Grant Edwards |Yow! What I want to find out
Rosemount Inc. |is -- do parrots know much
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank