Study Finds Negative Relationship Between Intelligence and Belief in Astrology

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A recent study has found a negative relationship between intelligence and belief in astrology.

The study reveals that individuals who hold astrological beliefs often exhibit lower intelligence and higher levels of narcissism.

Astrology is the belief that the positions of stars and planets can influence human behavior and destiny, despite no scientific evidence supporting this idea.

Narcissism and Astrology

The study discovered that narcissistic individuals are more likely to believe in astrology.

Narcissism is characterized by a grandiose sense of self-importance, a need for excessive admiration, and a lack of empathy for others.

The researchers suggest that the self-centered worldview common to both narcissism and astrology might explain this correlation.

Intelligence and Astrology

Higher intelligence was linked to a lower belief in astrology.

People with greater cognitive abilities tend to be more skeptical and critical of unfounded beliefs.

The study used a three-dimensional rotation items test from the International Cognitive Ability Resource to assess participants’ intelligence.

Personality Traits and Astrology

Besides narcissism, the study found smaller positive correlations between belief in astrology and personality traits like agreeableness and extroversion.

Agreeableness involves being compassionate and cooperative towards others, while extroversion is characterized by sociability and enthusiasm.

Study Methodology

The study involved 264 participants who completed an online questionnaire.

The questionnaire assessed their belief in astrology using a shortened version of the Belief in Astrology Inventory, personality traits, a specific assessment for narcissism, and a test of intelligence.

Reasons for Narcissists’ Belief in Astrology

Narcissistic participants were more likely to agree with the statement that astrology is supported by science, indicating a resistance to factual information.

Horoscopes and astrological predictions are often positively framed, reinforcing the grandiose feelings of narcissists and making astrology more appealing to them.

Rising Belief in Astrology

The study notes an increase in belief in astrology in recent years, for reasons that are not entirely clear.

The researchers suggest that during times of stress, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis, people might turn to comforting yet unfounded beliefs like astrology.

Concerns and Implications

Embracing astrology might seem harmless, but it can facilitate uncritical thinking and reinforce cognitive biases.

Belief in astrology often correlates with belief in other pseudosciences and conspiracy theories, suggesting a broader pattern of resistance to scientific thinking and acceptance of unfounded ideas.

Conclusion

Understanding these connections can help address why certain individuals are more prone to unfounded beliefs and how this can impact their critical thinking skills and decision-making processes.

Further research is needed to explore these relationships and develop strategies to promote scientific literacy and critical thinking in the general population.


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