I have a confession to make. There are times when I, like any mortal, enjoy a good horoscope reading. Yes, yes. I must have you all shocked by now, considering that I am after all a scientist, and should thus be immune to this sort of "celestial garbage". Now, I don't read the horoscope religiously, nor do I really believe in it, but rather, I like to see is as an entertainment piece. Every few months or so, I remember to check on what the starts have in line for me, especially at the beginning and end of each year. I can't explain why I do it besides the fact that I find the whole thing to be quite entertaining.

Lately, the media has been raving about the AstroTwins, using them as your number one source of all celestial readings. I personally am quite skeptical of them, and especially seeing that they charge around $300/hour to get a phone reading. Not even a face-to-face one. A phone. Please tell me how  a person across the country/continent/globe can read my fate through a cell-line? Seems to me like a scam more than anything. And yet, people buy it. 


So... why do people still read horoscopes anyway?

As I previously said, I do it for the entertainment piece, and even (I'll admit) when my ego is bruised and I need some reassurance. However, there are  those who religiously live by the written words that appear in their inboxes every day, if not every week, guiding each decision they make on how to live their lives.


The answer lies in one word: self-validation. As demonstrated by psychologist Bertram Forer in his 1949 paper entitled The Fallacy of Personal Validation: A Classroom Demonstration of Gullibility, people can be easily led to believe that their personality is being accurately assessed, when it clearly is not. For example, as I have shared in one of my previous posts, I am currently job hunting, which I find to be very challenging. That said, recently looking for some external validation that yes, all will be well in the end, I picked up the latest installment of the AstroTwins horoscope for February. The twins promise an eclipse which will
revolutionize [my] financial houses, shifting [my] approach to earning a daily living and handling big-picture security (investments, retirement, real estate). This first eclipse [will] possibly [lead to] a job change, an out-of-the-blue promotion or a lightning-bolt epiphany about what [I] want to do with [my] life.
Sounds great to me, heck I even felt better after reading this only to remember that it is all empty promises. Sure, I will find a job soon, but I doubt it will be as soon as end of February. Furthemore, if I hadn't been looking for a job, this piece of information would be completely irrelevant to me, just as their relationship advice are currently to me.  

Hope lies in the heart of the beholder, to paraphrase.

And I am sure there will be many who will say that "one never knows". After all, horoscopes are a way to offset the uncertainty of daily life.


So what do you make off horoscopes? Do you believe in them, do they entertain you, or do you just not care and never read them?

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