Research conducted at Lund University in Sweden has found a positive correlation between the belief in astrology (the study of the position of celestial objects, like stars and planets, for information about human personality traits, mood and terrestrial events) and higher levels of narcissism – alongside lower intelligence.
The study also noted that the belief in astrology was a strong indicator for the belief in other popular pseudosciences like Reiki, Wave Genetic Therapy and Full Moon Lunacy, stating that: “Though embracing astrology might seem innocent, it is nonetheless possible that it facilitates uncritical thinking and favours biases.”
A spike in the number of people who believe in pseudosciences is commonly seen through times of great stress, like the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Belief in astrology correlates with belief in multiple other pseudosciences as well as with belief in conspiracy theories (Bensley et al., 2020) which indicates that it might not be all that harmless,” the study authors wrote.
THE DARK TRIAD
Narcissism is one of the “dark triad” traits; the other two being Psychopathy and Machiavellianism. The dark triad is used by psychologists in conjunction with the big-five personality traits (extraversion, consciousnesses, agreeableness, openness and neuroticism) to help determine what a person’s personality style is.
Narcissism is characterised by a “grandiose sense of self-importance, a lack of empathy for others, a need for excessive admiration, and the belief that one is unique and deserving of special treatment.”
It is best understood by visualising a spectrum with the majority of people sitting in the middle and some sitting on the extremities. When Narcacism becomes out of control a person may be diagnosed with a Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
Ida Andersson, the lead study author, wrote “cultural aspects of millennials may emphasize the uniqueness of individuals which might lead to a more egocentric view of the world, and thus relate to narcissistic traits… since astrological predictions and horoscopes tend to be positively framed, this reinforces grandiose feelings and thus might appeal even more to narcissists.”
“Narcissism was surprisingly the strongest predictor, and intelligence showed a negative relationship with belief in astrology. Overall, our novel results suggest that something as innocent as astrology could both attract and possibly reinforce individual differences,” she added.
“Even the stars think that I am superior: Personality, intelligence and belief in astrology” was published in the peer-reviewed Personality and Individual Differences journal.