Horoscopes may be bad for you as negative readings promote self-indulgent behavior as people attempt to escape their fate, scientists find.
Astrology may seem like harmless fun – but a new study suggests following your star sign could be bad for you.
Consumers who read their horoscope daily were found to be more likely to exhibit impulsive or indulgent behavior when their zodiac was negative, the research suggested.
This is because reading a poor outcome in your star sign makes you more susceptible to temptation, it is believed.
The study, published in the Journal of Consumer Research, showed that those who believed their fate could change were more prone to erratic decision-making following bad news in their zodiac.
It has long been thought that reading your star sign can improve mood and encourage people to undertake selfless activities.
However, scientists at the University of South Carolina and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, found the opposite effect.
A number of participants were presented with unfavorable star sign readings and asked to choose between either going to a party or cleaning their home.
Participants who selected going to a party were seen as having made an indulgent decision and those who chose to clean their home were categorized as having made a virtuous one.
The study found that those who had read a negative horoscope before making their choice were more likely to choose going to the party over the more virtuous activity.
Researchers had expected participants to chose a more virtuous action to prevent the unfavorable outcome presented in their horoscope.
“Conventional wisdom might suggest that for people who believe they can change their fate, an unfavorable horoscope should result in an attempt to improve their fate,” the authors of study, Hyeongmin Kim of Johns Hopkins University, and Katina Kulow and Thomas Kramer of the University of South Carolina, said.
“Our results showed that reading an unfavorable horoscope actually has the opposite effect on a person.”
The researchers found that those who believe they have a fixed fate showed little change in their decision making and instead remained focused on their day ahead.
Earlier this month, Arch Crawford, a former Merrill Lynch trader who earned the nickname “crash Crawford” after predicting the “flash crash” of 1962, revealed that he has used astrology to guide his trades.
A study released in November this year, suggested 37 per cent of the public read their horoscopes before making big decisions. Women were also found to be twice as likely to visit a psychic than men.
The psychic industry in the United Kingdom is worth an estimated £100 million a year.
Can horoscopes make you behave?
Make you eat things you really crave?
Some people think so,
I really don’t know,
Perhaps they can make you feel brave.
Some people think it could be bad,
Reading scopes which make you feel sad;
When bad news they bring,
Do you do bad things?
Or do you always feel glad?
Can horoscopes really predict?
Or are they just nondescript?
Can they change your fate?
Help you pick a mate?
Or bring about lots of conflicts?
I guess it’s for you to decide,
Just keep your eyes open wide,
Read them if you want,
In large or small font,
My “Horror-scopes” have never lied.
© 2013 Ronald J. Yarosh
All rights reserved.