I’m a fallacy of personal affirmation, and

I’m sure many individuals have read
their horoscope before and have either thought that it was quite accurate or
not at all. Astrology has been around for many years and it is the study that
states the alignment of the
stars, planets and celestial bodies have an impact on individuals here on
Earth. Star signs have been formed based on astrological information stating
that the alignment of the stars and planets are strong enough to impact one’s
behavior from when they are born (Kassell, 2010). In this blog, I will explore
social cognitive tendencies that relate to astrology and how individuals go
about their way of life.


 There have been many cases where individuals
have found their horoscope to be accurate regarding their future or
personality. Sometimes, individuals tend to assume information is accurate when
it is presented in a complex form. This statement can relate to astrology, as
it can come across as complex when a person is reading their own horoscope
(Allum, 2011).
The Barnum effect has to do with this belief. It is the tendency for individuals to believe vague statements made on
personality as definite reflections of themselves (Fichten & Sunerton, 1983) when there may be high chances that
these characteristics are related to many individuals. It is a form of gullibility,
when individuals strongly believe certain connections exist within personality
and horoscopes. Studies show that people knowing what their horoscope says
about them, makes them more likely to speculate the behavior towards
themselves, which makes them more alike their horoscope (Rogers 2009).

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Hamilton’s (1995) analysis
describes individuals falling into a fallacy of personal affirmation, and this
can direct one into representing their own perception of their personality. It was concluded that the Barnum effect had
to do with the results obtained. Newer studies have been done to testify the
Barnum effect. Rogers (2009) study found surprising conclusions that the Barnum
effect is dependent on age, education, and psychological awareness on the topic
itself. Many of these studies understand that personality is
something that can change over time and there can be many drawbacks when trying
to find interactions. That is when the Barnum effect comes into play when
understanding the claims being made by astrology.

The self-fulfilling prophecy also comes into effect when
looking at astrology and when it predicts specific events about the future.
Individuals who are strong believers in astrology, tend to seek out specific
situations in their everyday life, according to their horoscope. Individuals
tend to be unaware of this, and cause a prediction of their future to come true.
This is why believers in astrology are more “alike” their horoscope and what it
says about them. After all, there is no real science behind astrology, it is a
form of pseudoscience. I do see how non-believers and believers could argue
upon astrology, but at the end of the day it is something individuals choose to
believe which allows them to go about their way of living. This belief impacts
an individual in a positive way, as it gives them a sense of security to know
what is going to happen next. The two cognitive attributes mentioned, explores
the idea of astrology and how one can believe it to be true but rather it is
how individuals chose to go about in the social world.



P. (2009). Cross-Cultural Differences in the Acceptance of Barnum Profiles
Supposedly   Derived from Western Versus
Chinese Astrology. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology. 40(3), 381-399. doi:0.1177/0022022109332843

Kassell, L. (2010). Stars, spirits, signs:
towards a history of astrology 1100–1800. Studies
in        History and Philosophy of
Biological and Biomedical Sciences. 41(2), 67-69.    doi:10.1016/j.shpsc.2010.04.001


Allum, N. (2011). What makes some
people think Astrology is Scientific? Science
Communication. 33(3), 341-366. doi:10.1177/1075547010389819



Fichten, S., Sunerton, B. (1983). Popular horoscopes
and the “Barnum effect”. Journal of Psychology, 114(1), 123-124. doi: 10.1080/00223980.1983.9915405


Hamilton, M. (1995). Incorporation of astrology-based
personality information into long-term    self-concept. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 10(3), 707-710. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/1292307540?accountid=12063