What Makes Some People Think Astrology is Scientific?

Science Communication, pp. 1-26, 2010

26 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2011

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

Citizens in both North America and Europe are apt to read horoscope columns in newspapers and magazines. While some people read these casually and purely for entertainment, some believe that astrology has scientific status and can provide real insight into events and personality. Using data from a European survey, this article explores some of the reasons why some people think that astrology is scientific and how astrology is viewed in relation to other knowledge-producing practices. Three hypotheses in particular are tested. The first is that some Europeans lack the necessary scientific literacy to distinguish science from pseudoscience. The second is that people are confused about what astrology actually is. The third is derived from Adorno’s work on authoritarianism and the occult and postulates that those who adhere to authoritarian values are more likely to believe in astrological claims. Support is found for all three hypotheses.

Suggested Citation

Allum, Nick, What Makes Some People Think Astrology is Scientific? (2010). Science Communication, pp. 1-26, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1860385

Nick Allum (Contact Author)

University of Essex ( email )

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester
United Kingdom

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