by bailey g.
Are you a Virgo? Pisces? Or maybe a stubborn Taurus like myself? No matter what you are, I think we can all agree that there is a bit of guilty pleasure in reading your horoscope to find out more about “you.” I think majority of people are somewhat narcissistic in the sense that we all love to hear about ourselves, talk about ourselves, and see ourselves. Hence, the Instagram culture, selfie obsession, and endless Buzzfeed quizzes telling you what type of cupcake you are.
Horoscopes fall into this category of self-interest, but I often feel they get a bad reputation that’s not deserved! Today we’re going to debunk whether horoscopes are real or fake, and the history behind them.
First off, did you know that astrology and horoscope predictions go back all the way to ancient times? Ancestors would look to the sky for answers, and during the Hellenistic period, astrologers would base interpretations of observations based on correlations between the sky and their lives on the ground. To learn more about the history of astrology, click here.
Astrology's basic foundation is that the sun, moon, planets, and constellations impact or are correlated with earthly events that happen in our lives. However, over the years, as the media and pop culture got involved with astrology, it started to become a pop psychology phenomenon, often filled with confirmation bias. Even though a decent amount of modern day astrology isn’t heavily based in science, people are still drawn to the stars due to a psychological tendency for “self-selection,” which means the search for interpretations that match what we already hope to be true.
After heavily researching, the overwhelming consensus is that there is not enough testable, repeatable scientific evidence to confirm that horoscope science is real, but there is so much anecdotal evidence of people claiming them to be true that it also hasn’t been super dismissed either. However, this could again be that confirmation bias I mentioned earlier.
So, What’s the Verdict?
After researching heavily, I think the answer I liked best was that, “Some people say that astrology is about helping you to understand what you already know,” - Huffington Post. Essentially, this means that while astrology and horoscopes are not 100% backed by science, it’s can still be used as a nice outlet for reflecting on your life and helping you make decisions.
In my opinion, horoscopes are overall as real as you make them. If you want to believe in it, go for it, but if you need something with more scientific-backing, they may not be for you. For me, I believe that I’m a Taurus, and tend to believe majority of the horoscopes and star sign information that I read with a grain of salt. What do you think? Comment below.