Have you ever wondered why some people believe in astrology, the idea that the position of stars and planets can affect our lives? Well, a recent study has shed some light on this phenomenon. According to the study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, researchers have found that narcissism and low intelligence are the strongest predictors of belief in astrology.
Belief in astrology seems to be on the rise, although the reasons behind this trend remain unclear. Previous studies, including one involving a staggering 20 million people, have failed to find any evidence supporting astrology. In an attempt to better understand the factors influencing belief in astrology, the researchers conducted a study examining individual personality traits.
The study involved 264 participants who completed an online questionnaire. The researchers assessed the participants' belief in astrology using a shortened version of the Belief in Astrology Inventory assessment. They also conducted personality assessments, a specific assessment for narcissism, and a test of intelligence using a three-dimensional rotation items test.
Surprisingly, the study revealed that narcissism showed the strongest correlation with belief in astrology. The higher the level of narcissism, the higher the belief in astrology. The researchers believe that this association may be due to a self-centred worldview that narcissists tend to have, although further research is needed to confirm this.
Additionally, the study found smaller positive correlations between agreeableness and extroversion and belief in astrology. However, the most interesting finding was that higher intelligence was associated with lower belief in astrology when controlling for other variables.
The researchers speculate on why narcissists are more likely to believe in astrology. One possibility is that narcissists are more resistant to facts and more likely to agree with the notion that astrology is supported by science. Furthermore, the way horoscopes are designed, often with positive and flattering descriptions, may particularly appeal to narcissistic individuals, reinforcing their grandiose feelings.
It is worth noting that belief in astrology may not be as harmless as it seems. The researchers caution that embracing astrology can lead to uncritical thinking and biases. They also found a correlation between belief in astrology and belief in other pseudosciences and conspiracy theories. This suggests that belief in astrology may facilitate the acceptance of other unfounded beliefs.
The researchers also speculate that the recent increase in belief in astrology could be attributed to times of stress, such as the ongoing climate crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. During challenging periods, people are more likely to turn to unfounded beliefs for comfort and guidance.
In conclusion, while belief in astrology may be intriguing to some, this study highlights the potential influence of narcissism and low intelligence on such beliefs. It reminds us of the importance of critical thinking and approaching such claims with a healthy scepticism.
The section where we explain the above to 5-year-olds (and Flat Earthers).
Sometimes people believe that the position of stars and planets can affect our lives. This is called astrology. But a new study found that people who think this way are often either very self-centred (narcissistic) or not very good at understanding things (low intelligence).
The study showed that when people think they are very important and everything is about them, they are more likely to believe in astrology. It's like they think the stars and planets have something to do with them. But people who are smarter and understand things better are less likely to believe in astrology.
The study also found that believing in astrology can make people believe in other things that are not true, like made-up stories or ideas. So it's important to think carefully and ask questions before believing in things like astrology.
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