Horoscope in people’s culture
In the course of history, it has always been common for people to believe in astrology and other paranormal occurrences; these beliefs have in turn shaped how people behave. While modern people seem to reject magical beliefs, in fact, when measured via subtle techniques, some people do still endorse magical beliefs. In present day Europe, around 30% of people report that they believe in astrology and 25% of Americans believe that the stars and planets influence their lives. Nearly every day, millions of people read their daily horoscopes. It seems quite automatic and harmless to open a magazine and search for your Zodiac.
Nevertheless, as illustrated in the above quotes, whereas most people do not report believing in astrology, people do know their star sign and are exposed to astrology on a daily basis. Is reading horoscopes merely an entertainment or does it have more important implications for the way people will think or behave?
The exposure to horoscopes, compared to mere positive or negative stimuli (i.e. newspaper articles), might be especially pronounced and specific since it constitutes predictions about personal destiny and affects individual’s expectancies. We hypothesized that an exposure to positive or negative horoscopes might influence, either positively or negatively (depending on the horoscope content), people’s emotions, creativity, cognitive performances, and interpretation of ambiguous situations. These effects could go beyond merely priming positivity or negativity in individuals. Further, we investigate how the effect of horoscopes might be moderated by individual dispositions.