A new study has found that narcissism is the strongest predictor of people who believe in astrology, and believers tend to have lower IQs.
The study – “Even the Stars Think I’m Superior: Personality, Intelligence, and Belief in Astrology” – was published Nov. 20 in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.
It was carried out by a research team from Lund University in Sweden.
Why do people who believe in astrology choose to believe?
And why do people believe in astrology and zodiac signs?
As the study shows, astrology is becoming more and more popular more and more popular.
Scientists don’t know exactly why astrology is experiencing what these researchers are calling a “revival.”
But they point out that previous research has found that people are more likely to embrace astrology and other scientifically questionable beliefs when they are under stress.
Previous studies, for example, have found a link between personal turmoil and belief in astrology.
The authors suggest that current “stressors” that may explain astrology’s increasing popularity include climate change and global health crises.
And understanding why people believe in astrology is important. While astrology itself may seem harmless, it also correlates with belief in other pseudoscience and conspiracy theories.
So the researchers wanted to see if individual personality traits might play a role in understanding why people who believe in astrology hold this belief.
“To the best of our knowledge,” they write, “no previous studies of narcissism and intelligence have been conducted in relation to belief in astrology.”
Known Links Between the Big Five Personality Traits and Belief in Pseudoscience
Previous research has found that the Big Five traits Openness, Extraversion, and Neuroticism (weakly) are positively associated with belief in correlate the paranormal.
Conscientiousness, on the other hand, is the personality trait least associated with pseudoscientific beliefs. Evidence for the compatibility trait is mixed.
The researchers also wanted to explore the links between astrology and narcissism, “because of the self-centered perspective” at the heart of both.
Finally, they wanted to Researchers measure participants’ IQs because intelligence has been found to be negatively correlated with belief in pseudoscience and the paranormal.
Intelligence is also negatively correlated with apophenia, which is the tendency to see connections or patterns between unrelated things.
Measuring Belief in Astrology and the Big Five
To find out more about the associations between individual personalities and belief in astrology, the researchers assessed personalities, IQ scores and astrological beliefs of 264 English-speaking participants recruited via Facebook.
Most of the participants (87%) were women and their ages ranged from 25 to 34.
To measure the subjects’ belief in astrology, the researchers gave them an abbreviated test conduct an eight-point version of a psychometric assessment tool called the Belief in Astrology Inventory.
Respondents were asked to rate the truth of statements such as “Horoscopes predict a person’s future” or “The way I treat other people depends on my zodiac sign from”.
The subjects also completed several personality assessments. One was a standard 30-point personality test.
Another was a tool specifically designed to measure narcissism. It asked participants to respond to statements such as “People see me as a natural leader” or “I get bored hanging around with ordinary people.”
Finally, the participants completed a short intelligence test.
The researchers also collected information on the age and gender of the subjects.
Results: Narcissism was the strongest predictor of belief in astrology, and IQ was negatively associated with this belief
In terms of personality traits, narcissism was the strongest predictor of belief in astrology ” (β = 0.29).
The traits openness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism showed no correlations, while agreeableness and extraversion showed low positive correlations.
Intelligence had a small but significant negative effect: the higher the IQ, the lower the likelihood of believing in astrology.
Researchers also found that female participants and older participants showed slightly higher rates of belief in astrology.
What could explain these results? Both narcissism and astrology are all about “I.”
As the researchers write, the link between astrology and narcissism “may be due to the egocentric worldview that binds them together.”
They also suggest that positive framing of astrological predictions and horoscopes could reinforce grandiose feelings, “and thus be even more appealing to narcissists.”
Interestingly, the study found that these are narcissistic traits also correlated with the belief that astrology is supported by science, suggesting the possibility that “narcissists are generally more fact-resistant.”
How many people believe in astrology?
According to a 2018 Pew Research poll, about 29% of American adults believe in astrology today.
The survey also found that women are more likely to believe in astrology (37%) than men (20%).
The survey found that among Christians, Catholics are more likely to believe in astrology (33%) than Protestants (24%).
Perhaps not surprisingly, the poll also found that atheists are quite unlikely (3%) to believe in astrology and zodiac signs.
Conclusion and Future Directions
For future research, the team suggests investigating other possible factors that might explain these associations, such as: B. Educational levels and occupations.
“Our goal with the present study,” they write, “was to contribute to a better understanding of individual differences and unfounded epistemic beliefs, such as belief in astrology.
“Interestingly, the results showed precisely that narcissism was the strongest predictor of belief in astrology.”
Research: “Even the Stars Think I’m Superior: Personality, Intelligence and Belief in Astrology”Published in: Personality and Individual DifferencesAuthors: Ida Andersson, Julia Persson and Petri KajoniusRelease date: 20. November 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2021.111389