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A person's future is not in the stars
Posted May 5, 2006

Andres Rivera
Web Editor

It’s funny how many people obsess over their zodiac signs. Practically everyone knows what sign they are; even if they don’t believe in astrology, they can still tell whether they are a Gemini, Taurus, and so on.
Wide ranges of people from preteens to executives buy newspapers and magazines or go online to read their latest horoscope.

Even I have been guilty of sneaking onto Yahoo! and checking my horoscope when bored.

While it is fun to think that horoscopes can hold the answers to life’s troubles, it doesn’t seem realistic that everyone born under a specific time is going through a similar event on the same day.

I guess that’s the beauty of vague writing. It is even more mind boggling to believe that all Leos are ambitious and a lover of limelight while
Capricorns are rigid and conservative, for example.

A recent study published in the Personality and Individuals Differences journal concluded that there is no connection between a person’s date of birth and their personality characteristics or their intelligence.

This study can be added on to the large pile of evidence against astrology. But this will not deter horoscope worshippers.

The study by Peter Hartmann, Martin Reuter and Helmuth Nyborg does not refute astrology altogether, just the weekly horoscope based on mere sun signs.

Sorry kids, but the sun’s position cannot provide deep insight into what makes you tick.

The study does leave the possibility, however, of a more comprehensive analysis of astrological signs being accurate.

The study also shows the potential for a link between a person’s birth date and his or her potential intelligence. Researchers compiled information from two sources:

A Vietnam Experience Study, which gathered data from more than 4,000 male military veterans and a 1979 National Longitudinal Study of Youth which collected data from more than 11,000 males and females ages 15 to 24.

In the first source, people born between the months of July and December where shown to be slightly more intelligent.

The second source showed the opposite, so there is some room for error on that basis.

Still, the study is clear in concluding that there is a lack of consistency in categorizing personality traits.

Those that subscribe to daily horoscopes whole-heartedly should know not to take these too seriously.

This is especially true when some “astrologists” come up with their words of wisdom without consulting the stars.

Daily horoscopes are not that specific to begin with.

Anyone can come up with advising people to stay clear making rash decision. Generic horoscopes should not be trusted.

If you choose to believe that the sun, moon, Venus, what have you, can give insight into your life, your best bet would be to focus on personalized horoscopes. The study does not disprove the ability of the personalized horoscopes in giving sage advice.

Testing that theory, for the sake of knowledge, was not that much of a struggle.

A simple questionnaire needed to be submitted to astrology.com and a sample of my personality profile appeared.

The personalized horoscope semi-accurately described my personality but was still vague on the actions that I should take and I’m OK with that.

When looking at the broad description of what a Leo is, it described a person that is very outgoing and in love with being in control. The personalized profile left those traits out, making it sound more like me.
I don’t want to be the kind of person that relies on star charts for making decisions. The magic eight ball, on the other hand, is a different story…

Andres Rivera, a sophomore journalism major, is Web editor of the Campus Times. He can be reached by e-mail at arivera3@ulv.edu.