Are astrological personality traits based on studies

Thesis. Title of the work. Personality diagnostics under the aspect of the Barnum effect. Author. Katharina Freistetter


1 Diploma thesis Title of the thesis Personality diagnostics under the aspect of the Barnum effect Author Katharina Freistetter Desired academic degree Magistra of Natural Sciences (Mag. Rer. Nat.) Vienna, April 2012 Study number: 298 Field of study: Supervisor: Psychology ao. Univ.-Prof. Mag. DDr. Andreas Hergovich Bakk.

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3 Acknowledgments At this point I would like to thank everyone who supported me in preparing this thesis. In particular, I would like to thank Prof. Andreas Hergovich for the competent and human support for my thesis as well as for the helpful suggestions and constructive criticism. In addition, during the entire thesis phase, I very much appreciated that Prof. Hergovich was available at short notice to clarify any open questions or problems. I would also like to thank Alfred Lackner, Ilse Sendler, Peter Schöber and Andrea Reikl-Wolf, who supported me significantly in the empirical implementation of the study and who were always available to me with competent specialist knowledge of the human design system. I would like to thank my former fellow student Jürgen Illmayer for taking on an important part during the conduct of the empirical study. I would especially like to thank my parents, who supported me emotionally and financially throughout my studies and who made my studies possible in the first place. 3

4 Contents I. INTRODUCTION ... 7 II. THEORETICAL PART Personality a definition of terms Personality diagnostics Methods of personality diagnostics Personality inventories Behavioral observation Interview Projective procedures Astrology Belief in astrology Personality diagnostics and astrology Previous empirical studies on personality measurement based on the time of birth on parapsychological studies of parapsychological beliefs Phenomena Gender differences in paranormal beliefs The Barnum effect The Barnum effect - a definition Previous empirical studies on the Barnum effect Gender as an influencing factor Positive vs. negative feedback as an influencing factor Personality as an influencing factor

5 6. Human Design System Theoretical Introduction The Types The Manifestor The Generator The Projector The Reflector The Profile Lines Mind III. EMPIRICAL PART Question Hypotheses Measuring instruments Sociodemographic data Personality questionnaire NEO PI-R Revised Paranormal Belief Scale (R-PBS) Barnum Faith Scale Scale for self-reflection Questionnaire for the conscious Human Design System line Human Design System Analysis (auditory) Questionnaire for the Human Design System -Analysis test plan description of the sample gender age highest school education completed reliability analyzes

6 12.1. NEO PI-R Revised Paranormal Belief Scale Barnum Belief Scale Scale for self-reflection Questionnaire for the conscious Human Design System line Review of the hypotheses Hypothesis Hypothesis Hypothesis Hypothesis Hypothesis Hypothesis Hypothesis Hypothesis Hypothesis Hypothesis Hypothesis Hypothesis Interpretation and discussion Summary Abstract Summary IV. Bibliography V. List of Figures VI. List of tables Appendix

7 I. INTRODUCTION What makes us humans so similar on the one hand and so unique in a certain way on the other? For a long time, attempts have been made to correctly measure and describe human behavior and to analyze the diverse aspects of our personality (Boyle, Matthews & Saklofske, 2008). In addition to the classic psychological, diagnostic methods for measuring personality, other methods, some of which have not yet been scientifically confirmed, have been developed with the aim of making information about a person's personality visible, including the Human Design System (HDS). The Human Design System is based on the assumption that the moment we are born defines an individual blueprint for life that is anchored in our genes and that determines who we are and what we can become from the outset. A human design analysis reveals the individual characteristics of the genetically stable or fixed, as well as the unstable or influenceable characteristics of a person. It also describes how these can be used in the best possible way in everyday life (Human Design Austria, 2010). My first personal contact with the HDS came about through an internship in the field of personnel and organizational psychology. In the course of this I learned how this system works and how it can be used in practice. The aim of this thesis is to try to validate the previously empirically unexplored Human Design System as a method of personality diagnosis using an existing psychological personality questionnaire. Furthermore, the critical questions are investigated as to how plausible, applicable and comprehensible the information is for test subjects, which is analyzed using this system. In addition, it should be checked whether the so-called Barnum effect has an influence on statements and application of the Human Design System. 7th

8 II. THEORETICAL PART 1. Personality - a definition of terms In the current literature there is no uniformly used definition, but numerous explanations of terms of personality can be found. According to Aiken (1999), this word comes from the term persona, which in earlier Greek theater referred to a mask that characterized the role played by the actor. In common parlance, the concept of personality is often characterized by on the one hand innate and on the other hand learned cognitive abilities, properties, attitudes and other individual feelings and actions (Aiken, 1999, p. 4). Saucier (2008) describes personality either as a set of traits that characterize an individual or as the underlying system that generates these traits (see p. 29). Funder (1997, quoted in Saucier, 2008) provides a definition that combines both aspects of Saucier. He describes personality as an individual's characteristic patterns of thought, emotion, and behavior, together with the psychological mechanisms hidden or not behind those patterns (pp. 1-2). The author therefore assumes that personality consists on the one hand of characteristic thought, emotion and behavior patterns, but that the psychological mechanisms behind these patterns also play an important role as part of personality. In the definition of terms by Kleinmuntz (1967), who describes personality as a unique organization of factors which characterizes an individual and determines his pattern of interaction with the environment (p. 9), in contrast to the previous definitions, there is also a focus on the Patterns of interaction with fellow human beings laid down. In the case of personality diagnostics, both innate and learned characteristics are expressed, which we humans express themselves on the one hand in thoughts and emotions and on the other hand in directly observable behavior with the environment. 8th

9 1.1. Personality diagnostics No two people are exactly alike; everyone is unique. Even identical twins, who originate from the same fertilized egg and therefore have identical heredities, differ in significant ways. This is true whether they are reared in the same or different environments. On the other hand, everyone is similar in certain respects. Despite differences in heredity, experiences, and culture, people share certain physical and psychological qualities that distinguish them as human beings. Thus, we are both similar and different, equipped with a complex set of dispositions and abilities that identify us as human beings with individual personalities. (Aiken, 1999, p. 3) Each person is therefore individual and yet in certain respects similar to all others. It is precisely because of this versatility that personality diagnostics have long been a relevant part of science, assessment of personality is as old as humanity; writes Aiken (1999, p. 32). Numerous descriptions of personality traits can already be found in stories and myths that are thousands of years old, which suggests that personality measurement, for example in the form of behavioral observation, was already used by the ancient Greeks, in the Middle Ages or in the Renaissance. The first scientific measurement of personality began with the research of Francis Galton, Alfred Binet and other psychologists at the end of the 19th century (Aiken, 1999) and is still a very essential area of ​​applied psychology today. Basically, one can differentiate personality diagnostics from performance diagnostics, which are still characterized by the use of intelligence tests (Kubinger, 2006) and are primarily concerned with measuring cognitive abilities. Since performance diagnostics is not a subject area of ​​this thesis, it will not be discussed in more detail here. Additional and more detailed information on performance diagnostics can be found, for example, in Kubinger (2006, p. 183 ff.). 9

10 Methods of personality diagnostics Nowadays, a wide variety of techniques and approaches, such as interviews, questionnaires, methods of behavior observation, tests or even projective procedures, are used to record the structures of a personality (Rotter & Hochreich, 1979). In addition to these classic psychological methods for measuring personality, there are other, often questionable and empirically unproven methods in the diagnosis of personality traits. At this point, for example, the method of psycho-physiognomics can be mentioned, which indicates that you can read off your personality based on your own skull shape and facial features, or graphology, which assumes that you can read something about a person's personality from the handwriting of a person can (Kanning, 2010). Astrology is still a very controversial method to this day, which is mainly used in natal chart. In the following, important classical psychological methods of personality diagnostics will be described in more detail. Personality inventories Aiken (1999) describes the origin of personality inventories as follows: Personality inventories were originally designed to identify and diagnose maladjustment and psychiatric disorders, but they were expanded to include the assessment of a wide range of normal and abnormal characteristics (p. 220). Methods for recording personality traits can often be found in the form of questionnaires (Kubinger, 2006), which usually record a character using different variables. Since then, personality inventories have been used not only for research into the development and change of personality but also as a diagnostic tool for psychiatric illnesses. These procedures are also used in the area of ​​personnel, career and family counseling (Aiken, 1999). One point of criticism of personality inventories is the possible influence of so-called social desirability. This means that people can use their answers to present themselves in a questionnaire in a way that society expects or evaluates as good 10

11 and thereby clearly falsify their true self-assessment. This aspect must always be taken into account, especially in application situations or in the selection of personnel, since in a competitive situation there is a slight tendency to answer questions in the direction of personal advantage (Kubinger, 2006, p. 52) other people, be it on the way to work or at public events. We constantly perceive people through their activities and verbal utterances and, based on these observations, often form a first individual impression of the personality traits of others. In such everyday situations, as just described, for example, uncontrolled, natural behavioral observations are carried out, whereby the observed people are not aware that they are under observation (cf. Aiken, 1999, p. 153). For science, however, the systematic behavioral observation (cf. Kubinger, 2006, p. 168), which takes place in a controlled environmental situation, is more of use, since this form is more objective and scientifically usually more useful. The aim of this procedure is to determine typical verbal and non-verbal behaviors of people in a certain situation. A special type of behavioral observation is participatory observation, in which the observer himself is also part of the situation that is under observation. Self-observation is also used in empirical science, with test subjects recording their behavior in diaries or similar documents (Aiken, 1999) Interview According to Aiken, interviews as well as behavioral observation are the two oldest ways of psychological measurement (cf. 1999, p . 125). The two methods also have in common that they are each based on observing and listening to verbal and non-verbal behavior. The differences, on the other hand, are based on the fact that interviewers (have to) always interact with the test person, which can influence or falsify the interviewed person's answers. On the other hand, the 11th

12 Interviewers also have the opportunity to inquire about or question thoughts, attitudes and emotions as well as past behaviors, which can usually not or only with difficulty be made visible through pure observation. Furthermore, the interview focuses primarily on verbal answers, whereby interviewers pay attention not only to what the other person is saying, but also how the answers are communicated (Aiken, 1999). A basic distinction can be made between structured and unstructured interviews, with several gradations in between. A completely structured interview is characterized by the fact that the formulation and the order of the questions are precisely specified. From a scientific point of view, structured or so-called standardized interviews are particularly useful if you are investigating a topic for which research results and prior knowledge are already available and you want to research specific content (Bortz & Döring, 2006). In an unstructured or unstandardized interview, the sequence of questions is kept open and is individually designed by the person interviewing. In this way, one can go into certain aspects more closely than perhaps planned and also address difficult topics, where the respondents are given the freedom to only say what they want to talk about. This type of interview is also often used when you want to get an initial overview of opinions and statements on a certain subject area (Bortz & Döring, 2006) Projective methods In another method of personality diagnosis, the projective method, test persons are ambiguous , interpretable stimuli (e.g. images, words, sentences, etc.) are confronted, which should be individually interpreted, described or also graphically represented. When working on the tasks, the test subjects are given a lot of freedom in order to be able to express their (also unconscious) attitudes and opinions indirectly (Aiken, 1999). One of the best-known projective methods is the Rorschach-Form-Deute method, which was created through the work of the psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach. The test persons are given boards with a different 12

13 shaped ink blots and asked what it could be or what you see in this picture (cf. Kubinger, 2006, p. 268). Another projective method is the test family in animals (Brem-Gräser, 2001, quoted in Kubinger, 2006), which asks a test person to draw their own family in the form of any animal (Kubinger, 2006, p. 39 ). Depending on the type, shape, positioning or size in which the animals are painted, the drawing is then interpreted. There are no correct or incorrect answers or processing methods for these tasks, which on the other hand also leads to less objectivity and less accuracy of the test results (Aiken, 1999). Since the projective procedures do not fully correspond to the current quality criteria of psychological test procedures and are not clear for interpretation, this method is mostly recommended and used today only as an aid in diagnostics (Kubinger, 2006). For example, such a method can be used as an icebreaker at the beginning of therapy or a test situation in order to be able to build a relationship of trust between therapist and patient or test leader and test person. 13th

14 2. Astrology The Human Design System, which, as already mentioned in the introduction, is to be evaluated in the course of this work, is based on the time of birth in its personality analyzes. Astrology is therefore a non-psychological method, almost comparable to the Human Design System, for measuring personality traits, since this also uses the moment of birth as the basis of diagnostics. Therefore, in the following section, the field of astrology and belief in it will be discussed in more detail.Astrology is a term that almost everyone has heard or read in some context, whether in relation to personal astrological consultations or through the widespread daily, weekly and monthly horoscopes in newspapers and magazines. The term is derived from astron (star) and logos (doctrine) and deals with the doctrine of the relationships between the starry sky and the earth (Hergovich, 2005, p. 13). Astrology indicates that there is a connection between astrological constructs (such as signs of the zodiac, [], planetary positions []) and the personality of the horoscope wearer (Hergovich, 2005, p. 197). Astrology assumes that it can read or predict information about events and personality traits based on the time of birth and the position of the planets at that moment. Astrology finds its practical application in the creation and interpretation of horoscopes, which are the graphic representation of the constellation of the stars of our solar system for the moment of the birth of a person (Hergovich, 2005, p.57). The word horoscope is made up of the Greek words hora (hour) and skopein (look, watch), which means something like to observe the hour. According to Hürlimann (2005), this term was coined at a time when astrology was not yet concerned with an interpretation of horoscopes that was accurate to the minute. A natal chart, like a psychological personality profile, aims to describe the various aspects and characteristics of a personality. According to Wyman and Vyse (2008), both astrology and personality diagnostics are based on two common assumptions. They both assume that 14

15 we humans have stable character traits that determine our behavior to varying degrees, and at the same time both assume that they have developed procedures with which they can also measure these traits. Aside from that, the two areas propose completely different theories about what causes a personality to develop. In this regard, astrologers assume that our character traits are determined by the position of the planets at the time of individual birth, while personality diagnostics primarily assume that the personality is influenced by both genetic internal and environmental external factors (Hürlimann, 2005) Belief in astrology The question arises of who believes in astrology, which remains empirically unconfirmed to this day, and which factors influence this belief. Wunder (2002) conducted a survey on the subject of belief in and knowledge of astrology, in which a total of 1700 test subjects (64.4% women; 35.6% men) who were recruited for an astrological experiment took part. Since the sample was more of a younger and predominantly female composition, the data regarding belief in astrology in the general population can be regarded as representative (Wunder, 2002). The author gave the study participants the two items The zodiac sign / birth horoscope of a person has an influence on the course of his life and If you know the horoscope of a strange person, you know a lot about his character To assess agreement of these items on a 5-point scale. He also examined the knowledge and experience of the test subjects in the field of astrology with the items I know the properties of my zodiac sign, I know my ascendant, I have already dealt with astrology more closely and I have already received personal advice from an astrologer let (see Wunder, 2002, p. 278). The results showed that around 16% of the sample strongly agreed with the two items on belief in astrology and around a third strongly agreed. Almost three quarters of the total sample said they knew the characteristics of their zodiac sign and almost 60% said they knew about their ascendant. These results suggest a relatively widespread basic knowledge of astrology within the sample. Wunder (2002) shows 15

16 points out in this regard, however, that these values ​​are likely to be significantly higher than in a representative sample, since, due to the increased proportion of female participants, he assumes that more people interested in astrology have registered for the study than in one representative investigation would have been expected. With regard to gender differences, Wunder (2002) showed that women achieved significantly higher mean values ​​than men for all six items. This means, on the one hand, that women believed in astrology and its statements much more often than men, and on the other hand, women had significantly more astrology knowledge than men. A regression analysis of the collected data showed that the existing astrological knowledge influenced the astrological belief. It was particularly noticeable among men that they were less concerned with astrology than women and that they consequently lacked experience and knowledge in the field. According to Wunder (2002), however, whether the belief in astrology in general leads to astrological experience and knowledge, or whether the knowledge of astrology influences the development of belief in it, has to remain open. Another study (Wunder, 2000), which examined the belief in astrology internationally in 16 countries, showed that the participants in Bulgaria and Latvia had the highest belief in astrology. According to this study, residents from Canada, Ireland and Holland had the least belief in astrology. Hamilton (2001) examined the factor of acceptance of astrological statements and which factors have an influence on it. In her study she dealt with 96 American students on an introductory course in psychology. The test subjects were presented with descriptions of two zodiac signs for direct comparison one after the other, an odd-numbered (Aries, Gemini, Leo, Libra, Sagittarius and Aquarius) and an even-numbered zodiac sign (Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn, Pisces). Then the test subjects had to assess how positive or negative they felt about the descriptions. Then they were asked about their belief in and knowledge of astrology as well as their month or day of birth and their zodiac sign. Based on the time of birth and zodiac sign, the 16

17 study participants divided into two groups one group consisted of those who were born in even-numbered zodiac signs, the other group consisted of those born with odd-numbered zodiac signs. The test subjects did not know beforehand that it was astrological explanation or that each personality description could be assigned to a zodiac sign. The results showed that the convenience or social desirability of an astrological personality analysis influenced, among other things, the acceptance of astrology and its descriptions of the zodiac signs. Those test subjects who received more positive and attractive zodiac sign descriptions based on astrology also expressed a stronger belief in astrology and its validity. In addition, the American sample of this study (Hamilton, 2001) also showed that personality descriptions of odd-numbered zodiac signs (Aries, Gemini, Leo, Libra, Sagittarius and Aquarius) were generally rated more positively than descriptions of the even-numbered zodiac signs (Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn, Pisces). Even among those subjects who also stated after the study that, in their opinion, the descriptions were not astrological information, the same results were found (Hamilton, 2001). According to Hamilton, this can be explained by the widespread view in Western astrology that odd-numbered zodiac signs (also called positive zodiac signs) are characterized as more advantageous and socially more desirable than even-numbered zodiac signs (also called negative zodiac signs). Since positive personality descriptions are, as already mentioned, better accepted than negative ones, people in odd-numbered zodiac signs also stated a stronger belief in astrology than those with even-numbered zodiac signs, provided they had some knowledge of astrology (Hamilton, 2001). This stronger belief in astrology found by Hamilton among those born in odd-numbered zodiac signs was also checked by Wunder (2003) on a German sample of a total of 1700 people. In his study, however, Wunder could not find a significant difference in belief in astrology between people born in even-numbered and those born in odd-numbered zodiac signs. The average values ​​of belief in astrology were almost the same for all 12 zodiac signs. Wunder concluded from this that Hamilton's study results resulted from an artifact of the experimental conditions. Hamilton's (2001) test subjects received 17 as above

18, the description of an odd and even zodiac sign is always presented for comparison. In reality, however, according to Wunder, you only focus your interest on your own zodiac sign and on how well the corresponding characteristics apply to you or not. A comparison with other zodiac signs is hardly ever made according to Wunder (2003) or is very unusual in everyday life. Hamilton also thinks: Note that the negative astrological signs may have been negative only in comparison to the positive sign descriptions (2001, p. 899). Wunder (2003) draws the conclusion from his results that each of the 12 zodiac signs contains several positive properties, which also come to the fore in certain situations and thus each zodiac sign can be perceived as positive and desirable. Only in comparison with other zodiac signs can some be perceived more positively than others and vice versa. In previous studies, the belief in and preoccupation with astrology could also be related to the fact that people have a strong need for information after certain events that reduce uncertainties about themselves and the environment - this information can also be found in the Astrology (Glick et al., 1989, quoted in Lillqvist & Lindeman, 1998). The results of a study by Lillqvist and Lindeman (1998) matched the observations of Glick et al. (1989, quoted in Lillqvist & Lindeman, 1998) confirm. In addition, the authors showed with their empirical survey that astrological statements can confirm and verify one's belief in oneself and thus reduce negative feelings regarding uncertainty. In this regard, the authors compared astrology, psychology and German students in terms of the number of personal crises and traumatic experiences they experienced. Astrology students reported more personally experienced crises than college students of psychology and German, but there were no differences in the traumatic experiences. In addition, there was also a high positive correlation between the interest in astrology and the crises experienced so far among the psychology and German students. These results indicate that personal crises can lead to increased preoccupation with astrology and a greater interest in it, in order to regain security. Belief in astrology can thus possibly also be interpreted as a function of protecting oneself from fear and insecurity in times of crisis (Lillqvist & Lindeman, 1998). 18th

19 Another approach to factors influencing belief in astrology can also be found in the so-called Barnum effect (Meehl, 1956). This term describes the phenomenon that people rate general statements / descriptions as personally correct. This effect is to be investigated as a result of the empirical study of this work in relation to the application of the Human Design System. Since the Barnum effect is consequently one of the main components of this thesis, it is dealt with in a separate section (4. The Barnum Effect). 19th

20 3. Personality diagnostics and astrology Since there are no concrete empirical research results on the human design system to date, studies from the field of astrology are listed in the next section, which examined the possibilities of personality diagnostics based on the time of birth Time of Birth Hartmann, Reuter and Nyborg (2006) examined in two studies the extent to which the date of birth is related to individual differences in personality and general intelligence. The first study included 4,321 middle-aged male volunteers. The study participants worked on the clinical procedure MMPI for measuring personality traits, whereby the four personality dimensions according to Eysenck (psychoticism, extraversion, neuroticism and social desirability) were then derived from the data. In addition, the test subjects carried out a battery of cognitive methods to measure intelligence and gave their dates of birth as an independent variable. The date of birth was recorded using five different indicators: the month of birth; the season of birth, which was defined by spring (March-May), summer (June-August), autumn (September-November) and winter (December-February); Extended Winter (October-March) vs. Extended Summer (April-September); Extended spring (January-June) vs. extended autumn (July-December) and finally the astrological sun sign, also known as the zodiac or zodiac sign (Hartmann, Reuter & Nyborg, 2006). With these data an analysis of variance was then calculated, which produced only one significant result out of 35 analyzes, which was found in the intelligence factor (see Fig. 1). However, even this difference amounted to less than one IQ point in the direction that those born in autumn (July-December) had a higher general intelligence than those born in summer (January-June). In all of the analyzes carried out, no connections between date of birth and personality could be found. Analyzes based on gender were not possible in this study, as only males took part (Hartmann, Reuter & Nyborg, 2006). 20th

21 Fig. 1: Prediction of general intelligence g through the distinction "Spring vs. Autumn" (according to Hartmann, Reuter & Nyborg, 2006) In the second study, the authors had no access to personality data of the test subjects, which is why in this case it was only about the relationship between date of birth and intelligence went (Hartmann, Reuter & Nyborg, 2006). However, since this object of investigation is not related to the topic of this work, it will not be discussed in more detail here. Chotai, Lundberg and Adolfsson (2003) carried out a study with a sample of 1145 test subjects (51% women, 49% men) in order to investigate the relationship between personality traits and the time of year of birth. The TCI (Temperament and Character Inventory) questionnaire was given to measure personality, while the dates of birth were divided into the winter season (October-March) and the summer season (April-September). The results showed that differences in the expression of personality traits depend on age but also on the season in which the study participants were born. For the 21st

In 22 age group of 25-year-olds or younger, the authors found that those born in the winter season (October-March) had significantly higher scores on the novelty seeking scale than those born in the summer season (April-September) born, this was especially true for women. The female test subjects in this age group also had significantly lower values ​​in the cooperativeness scale (German: willingness to cooperate, willingness to help) if they were born in the season from October to March. In the age group over 25, those born in the winter season had significantly lower values ​​in novelty seeking, especially among men, and significantly higher values ​​in the harm avoidance scale, especially among women (Chotai, Lundberg & Adolfsson, 2003). Another study (Mayo, White & Eysenck, 1978, quoted in Hergovich, 2005) tested the hypothesis that people born in odd-numbered zodiac signs (Aries, Gemini, Leo, Libra, Sagittarius, and Aquarius) were more extroverted Personality than those born in the even-numbered zodiac signs (Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn, Pisces) (cf.Hamilton, 2001) persons, of which 1407 women and 911 men, who took part in the study, completed the personality test EPI ( Personality Inventory by Eysenck). The results confirmed the hypothesis that those born in odd-numbered zodiac signs were highly significantly more extroverted than those born in even-numbered zodiac signs. Since these very clear results have long been considered the best proof of the validity of astrology, this study has been quoted and replicated many times. For the most part, however, the results of replication studies could not be confirmed. Science therefore asked itself how the unambiguous results of Mayo, White and Eysenck (1978, cited in n.Hergovich, 2005), as other scientists had not yet found any similarly significant results on the validity of astrology. Pawlik and Buse (1979) were able to provide an answer to this by testing the hypothesis whether people who know about certain personality traits of their zodiac sign then ascribe these traits to themselves more strongly. This thesis of self-attribution could be confirmed for women in that those who knew certain characteristics of their zodiac sign, 22

23 had also ascribed these properties to themselves (Pawlik & Buse, 1979), which falsified the results of the previously cited study by Mayo, White and Eysenck (1978, quoted in Hergovich, 2005) and refuted their highly significant validity. From the study results of Hamilton (2001) one can add in this regard that the thesis of self-attribution can depend not only on general knowledge about astrology but also on specific knowledge about the widespread view of polarization (positive vs. negative) of one's own zodiac sign. This means that respondents who have astrological knowledge and were born in a so-called positive zodiac sign attribute the properties corresponding to their zodiac sign even more strongly than those who also have astrological knowledge but were born in a negative zodiac sign. It should be noted here, however, that this polarization must be restricted to the American population, as Hamilton's results are based on a sample of American test subjects. Van Rooij (1999) also examined the relationship between the time of birth and personality traits by having 308 women and 114 men assess how well 96 different personality traits (8 typical traits for each of the 12 zodiac signs) apply to them. The author hypothesized that the test subjects rate those properties as significantly more correct that are also characteristic of the description of their zodiac sign. This hypothesis could even be confirmed, however, as in other studies already cited, only for those who also had astrological knowledge. Knowledge of astrology and the associated self-attribution have thus been shown in many studies as moderator variables that create a connection between individual personality traits and the typical character traits of one's own zodiac sign or can positively influence studies on time twins if one, like astrology, of it assuming that there is a connection between the time of birth and events on earth, people who were born at the same time (so-called time twins) should show stronger similarities than people 23

24 with different birth moments (Dean & Kelly, 2003). According to Dean and Kelly (2003), studies on time twins are the definitive test of astrology because errors of uncertainties of birth chart interpretation are avoided (p. 187). In their study (2003), the authors recruited a total of 2101 test persons who were born in London between March 3 and 9, 1958. At the age of 11, 16 and 23 years, surveys were carried out on the test subjects, which gave the scientists 110 variables per person. These included, for example, intelligence values, reading and arithmetic skills, assessments by teachers and parents with regard to anxiety, aggressiveness and sociability of the test subjects, but also physical values ​​such as weight, height, eyesight and hearing. The aim was to ascertain all those factors that, according to astrology, can also be seen in a horoscope. In addition, 16 additional data from the mothers (e.g. blood pressure) were collected as control variables, which according to statements by astrologers should definitely not be visible in the test subjects' horoscope. The study participants were sorted chronologically according to their exact date of birth, resulting in a total of 2100 time twin pairs (73% of the couples were born within a period of 5 minutes or less). In the evaluation, however, no significant correlation could be found between the time twins with regard to the 110 variables surveyed. A total of 2101 people born under the zodiac sign Pisces showed only very little or no similarities in cognitive, psychological and physical factors allow. Fuzeau-Braesch (1992, quoted in Ertel & Dean, 1996) used 238 French twin pairs for their study and created short astrological descriptions of personality traits for each twin pair. The parents of the twin pairs were then asked to compare the respective adjectives with the personality traits of their twins and indicate which twin was better suited to the respective description. For example, they should indicate which twin is more sociable or sensitive. Among the 24

The parents were able to assign a total of 153 pairs to the correct descriptions in 25,238 pairs (20 parents gave no assignment), which led to a highly significant result. Fuzeau-Braesch (1992, quoted in Ertel & Dean, 1996) concluded that the time of birth had to play an important role with regard to personality differences. Ertel and Dean (1996) then criticized the results of the study by Fuzeau-Braesch (1992, cited in Ertel & Dean, 1996) in several ways. One of their critical views was based on the fact that the effect is too great to fit with previous research results. Since the time of birth of the twin pairs in Fuzeau-Braesch was a maximum of 30 minutes apart, from the point of view of astrology only minor effects should then be expected. In addition, Ertel and Dean (1996) pointed to a distortion caused by the response format and no clear procedure in the creation of the astrological descriptions. Fuzeau-Braesch sometimes did not adhere to their own objective rules in this regard and included various astrological components in some descriptions, but not in others (although both were based on the same components). Furthermore, Ertel and Dean found that there were discrepancies between the data processed in the analysis and the original data. The authors therefore carried out a re-analysis with the original data and, in contrast to Fuzeau-Braesch (1992, quoted in Ertel & Dean, 1996), could not find any significant results. Fuzeau-Braesch (1996) commented on the criticism of Ertel and Dean (1996) in general that they did not understand the spirit and the technique of their work. In addition, she announced in the comment that she will carry out a French replication of the study at a later date to show that the results are valid. Müller and Ertel (1992) investigated whether astrologers can distinguish doctors' horoscopes from fictitious horoscopes and assign them correctly. A total of seven astrologers were presented with two horoscopes each, whereby one of the horoscopes always came from a qualified doctor, for whom the medical specialty was specified. The second fictitious comparison horoscope was obtained by randomly adding or subtracting two years, two months and two hours from the date of birth of the respective doctor and based on the 25th

A horoscope was drawn up again at the new time of birth. A total of 45 pairs with two horoscopes each were presented to the test persons (astrologers) and they had to decide which of the two could be assigned to the doctor. They all had to make these decisions together. The results of the study by Müller and Ertel (1992) showed that the correct horoscope was assigned to the doctor in only 42% of all couples, which is within the expected random range of 50%. This means that any person who has no knowledge of astrology could, purely by chance, correctly assign 50% of the pairs and thus achieve a higher hit rate than the astrologers in the sample. Even if the doctors were differentiated according to their specialty, there were no values ​​above a 50 percent hit rate. This means that the correct assignments of this examination can only be explained by chance and not by a really existing connection between the time of birth and personality. Carlson (1985) also published a study in which he examined the hypothesis whether personality traits can be precisely analyzed and described using the natal chart. His experiment consisted of two parts, whereby a total of 106 test persons (56 persons were assigned to the test group, 50 persons to the control group; 70% of the total sample were college students) took part in the entire study. Those persons who either stated a strong doubt about astrology or for whom their personal horoscope had already been created were eliminated in advance. The entire experiment was planned as a double-blind study, so that test subjects, experimenters and astrologers could not find out at any point during the investigation which date of birth was assigned to which personality profile. In the first part of the investigation, a personal horoscope was created for each volunteer test person in the experimental group of astrologers. The test subjects then had to identify their own natal chart from among three submitted horoscopes. Participants from the control group were given the same task, although their horoscope descriptions did not contain their own horoscopes, but three other horoscopes. According to astrology, at least 50% of the people in the test group had to be able to recognize their correct horoscope, a random rate probability in this case was 33%. In addition, the authors checked whether the test subjects knew themselves so well that they could even find a suitable personality description. To do this, they should turn their 26th

Recognize 27 individual personality profiles from three different profiles, which were created by the personality test CPI (California Personality Inventory). The CPI was chosen primarily because its terms fit best with the astrological expressions. In the second part of the study, the 28 participating astrologers were each presented with a natal chart and three CPI personality profiles, whereby they always had to recognize the profile that could be assigned to the horoscope. The astrologers stated in advance that they could identify the correct profile in 50 or more percent of the cases. Here, too, the random rate probability was again 33%. In addition, the astrologers rated their accuracy of 1 10 (10 means that they are completely sure that they have identified the correct profile). The results (Carlson, 1985) showed that the test group in the first part only recognized their correct horoscope with a probability of 0.337, which roughly corresponded to the random rate probability of 33% and was also below the value of the control group (0.447). In this regard, however, the result must also be taken into account that neither the test nor the control group could recognize their correct personality profile with a higher probability than 50%. Among three personality profiles, astrologers were only able to assign the correct profile to the respective horoscope with a probability of 0.34 in the second part, which in turn corresponded to the guessing probability of 33%. With regard to the indication of the accuracy among the astrologers, it was expected that the correct assignments would also be assessed in advance with an average higher accuracy. However, Carlson could not confirm this. A general aspect to be mentioned in the comparison of personality traits and typical character traits of the respective zodiac sign is, as also considered in Carlson (1985), the terminology, which in psychology and astrology can often not be equated. For the most part, astrologers do not use the same attribute terms for their personality descriptions as psychologists do and vice versa. This topic can possibly also play an important role in the planned study. 27