How often do people ask you, “What is your zodiac sign?” or say to you, “Of course you’re [insert an adjective here]. You’re a [insert a zodiac sign here].”
Astrology is booming, many internet platforms have reported an increase in searches for content relating to astrology. According to a New York Times data report in 2020, Lucie Greene, a cultural trends analyst, showed that there is an increase in online horoscope consultations up to 20-30% in website traffic and inquiries.
When you read a horoscope, you tend to believe and feel that it describes you very well. In the world of psychology, this phenomenon is called the Barnum effect. It is a psychological phenomenon when a person assumes an accurate description of themselves when the description is actually very general. Looking for self-validation through the zodiac is one way for us to accept ourselves.
Julian Baggini, a British philosopher, said to Smithsonianmag.com that human beings are pattern seekers and have a strong predisposition to notice regularities in nature and the world. Humans always have a desire to control their lives, questioning everything and needing answers for everything in life – especially when bad things happen -. Astrology can make people feel in control of their lives and feel like they got the answers to their questions. Astrology offers those in crisis the comfort of imagining a better future and as motivation to believe in the cliched proverb “This too shall pass”. Not surprised if interest in astrology never subsided.
According to The Atlantic’s article, there was a small 1982 study by psychologist Graham Tyson found that people tend to read horoscopes when under stress. This relates to social pressure or relationships with other people. Horoscopes are believed to reduce stress and make others feel calmer about their future. Based on American Psychological Association survey data, since 2014, Millennials or young people have been the most stressed generation and significantly more stressed than older generations. If astrology can be used as a stress reliever, it is no wonder that astrology seems to attract so much attention.
Humans don’t tend to make decisions based on logic, and astrology is a good system of action to put faith in. There are many reasons to believe what you believe and sometimes we believe stuff because it just feels kind of good. It is completely your right to believe in something and find a way to make yourself feel better even by believing in astrology.