To: All Msg #63, Oct-05-93 10:36AM Subject: Re: astrology Amy () wrote: : Hey everybody. I

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From: Grant Edwards To: All Msg #63, Oct-05-93 10:36AM Subject: Re: astrology Organization: Rosemount, Inc. From: grante@aquarius.rosemount.com (Grant Edwards) Message-ID: <1993Oct5.183629.23061@rosevax.rosemount.com> Newsgroups: sci.skeptic 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: Gauquelin, M. Zodiac and Personality: An Empirical Study Skeptical Inquirer, 6:3, 57 1982 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 1978 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. Culver, R. Sun Sign Sunset Pachert 1979 Van Deusen, E. Astrogenetics Doubleday 1976 Culver, R., Ianna, P. Astronomy Quarterly, 1, 147 1977 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 p113 The Astrological Association 1977 Silverman, B., Witmer, M. Astrological Indicators of Personality Journal of Psychology, 87, 89 1974 Per Dalen, Season of Birth American Elsevier Publishing 1975 Pellegrini, R., The Astrological Theory of Personality Journal of Psychology, 85, 21 1973 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 of birth. Illingworth, D., Syme, G. Birthday and Femininity Journal of Social Psychology, 103, 153 1977 Tyson, G. Astrology or Season of Birth: A 'Split-Sphere' Test Journal of Psychology, 95, 285 1977 These two studies found no correlation between sun sign and personality traits measured by the CPI, including the femininity index. Mayes, B., Klugh, H. Birthdate Psychology: A Look at Some New Data Journal of Psychology 99, 27 1978 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 were found. Mayo, J., White, O., Eysenck, H. An Empirical Study of the Relation between Astrology Factors and Personality Journal of Clinical Psychology, 105, 229 1979 Jackson, M. Extroversion, Neuroticism, and Date of Birth: A Southern Hemisphere Study Journal of Psychology, 101, 197 1979 These two studies found correlations between astrological factors and the Introversion/Extroversion index of the Eysenck Personality Inventory. Veno, A., Pammunt, P. Astrological Factors and Personality: a Southern Hemisphere Replication Journal of Psychology, 101, 73 1979 Failed to duplicate the correlation found above. Pawlik, K., Buse, L., Self-attribution as a Differential Psychological Moderating Variable Zeitschrift fur Sozilpsychologie, 10, 54 1979 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 astrological signs. Eysenck, H., Astrology: Science or Superstition? Encounter, Dec 1979, p85 Jackson, M., Fiebert, M. S. Introversion-Extroversion and Astrology Journal of Psychology, 105, 155 1980 Saklofske, D., Kelly, I., McKerracher, D. An Empirical Study of Personality and Astrological Factors Journal of Psychology, 110, 275 1982 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 Prometheus 1988 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 1977 Kop, P., Heuts, B. Journal of Interdisciplenary Cycle Research 5, 19 1974 The above 2 studies found no correlation between marriage/divorce rate and sun sign combinations in the state of Michigan and the city of Amsterdam, respectively. John McGervey Physicist Case Western Reserve University Found that the sun signs of 6,000 politicians and 10,000 scientists were randomly distributed. Shawn Carlson A Double-blind Test of Astrology Nature, 318, 419 1985 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. Dean, Geoffrey (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. Gauquelin, M. L'Influence des Astres, Etude Critique et Experimentale Dauphin Press 1955 Found no correlation between occupation and the zodiac signs containing Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and the Moon at the time of birth. Gauquelin, M. The Cosmic Clocks, p84 Henry Regnery Co. 1967 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 1974 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 1977 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. Dean, G. Does Astrology Need to be True? Part 1: A Look at the Real Thing Skeptical Inquirer, 11, 166 1987 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 reversed chart. Dwyer T. 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 incorrect chart. ------------------- Sent by Brad Gibson (gibson@geop.ubc.ca): (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 1990 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 predictions. 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 |about Astro-Turf? grante@rosemount.com |

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