Study shows people who believe in astrology tend to be less intelligent and more narcissistic

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A trio of psychologists at Lund University has found via online questionnaire, that people who believe in astrology tend to be less intelligent than the norm and more narcissistic. In their paper published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, Ida Andersson, Julia Persson and Petri Kajonius describe their study and what they learned from it.

Over the past several decades, scientists have occasionally put astrology to the test despite logic suggesting there is no possible way for the movements of stars and their relative positions to influence human behavior. To date, all have concluded that the idea is nonsense. Still, millions of people around the world believe that it is a true science. In this new effort, the researchers started by noting that belief in astrology has grown in recent years, possibly as a reaction to stresses such as the COVID-19 pandemic. They then set out to find if there were some traits that were common among people who were willing to believe in a pseudo-science that has no evidence of its usefulness.

They created an online designed to identify and then added those questions to an abbreviated version of the Belief in Astrology Inventory assessment, which was created by a pair of researchers at Rovira i Virgili University in 2006. They also added a short IQ test. They then recruited 264 English speaking adults using Facebook to take their questionnaire.

The researchers found that those people who professed a belief in the powers of astrology tended to score higher than average on narcissistic measurements and also did poorly on the IQ test. They suggest this indicates that people who have faith in astrology tend to be more self-focused than average and see themselves as special people with natural leadership skills, and who also happen to be less intelligent than the average person. They noted that the higher a volunteer scored on the IQ portion of the questionnaire, the lower their chances were of being a believer in .

More information: Ida Andersson et al, Even the stars think that I am superior: Personality, intelligence and belief in astrology, Personality and Individual Differences (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2021.111389

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