I don’t know about you, but personally my favorite part of Monday’s are being able to read my horoscope on the cosmopolitan snapchat. My friends think I am completely bizarre for believing what this author has to say. I am a total believer in horoscopes and base my weeks around what my horoscope says. But lately I have started to question how accurate these are.



For starters, I am a leo, which means I was born between July 22nd and August 22nd. According to my research, leos are pretty dominant, but also care a lot about other people. I was able to find one of my horoscopes from the week of October 23rd, It stated:

“Your creativity and your love life are on fire right now! You are getting in touch with your emotions, thanks to verbal Mercury’s movement into your zone of home and family. But the trick is to be clear and consistent with your vision and leadership. You dislike letting people down, but with harmony-seeking Venus making a slew of strong aspects this week, you will have to toe a hard line in terms of managing expectations and being clear about what you want. That goes for your romance as well, so speak up. If you are still single, Saturday is a dream date night to meet someone who satisfies both your fun- loving and practical side. But don’t be too reckless since tensions are running high.”

It seemed to share a lot of the same characteristics from my research such as being warm-hearted and not wanting to let people down and also being passionate and emotional.

But how could the stars really be able to tell that much about me? Isn’t your personality more dictated by how you are raised and what you end up enjoying in life?

My null hypothesis in my research is that there is no relationship between how you are and your zodiac sign. And the alternative hypothesis is that there is indeed a relationship between how you are and your zodiac sign.

In my studies, I found that horoscopes seem to have a lot of general ideas that could apply to basically anyone. For example, my friend who is a virgo could read the sentence “Your creativity and your love life are on fire right now!” from my horoscope as a leo, and shape it around her daily life because it is so vague.

I was also able to find a summary, of Dr. Geoffery Dean’s research that evaluated people who were twins and born closely within each other. According to astrology, these two people would have the same zodiac sign, so technically their traits and characteristics should be very similar. However, the study showed that these people were not very similar. They tested for traits and variables such as jobs and social skills. On page 187-188 of Dean’s study it says that he did an experiment consisting of 128 people who were born closely in time. The chart (see below) on page 188 shows that less between 1.4% and 4.1% of the twins resembled similar traits.   It is very important to note that Dean’s studies could suffer from the file drawer problem and be bias to what his beliefs were. However, the results support the null hypothesis that there is no relationship between your zodiac sign and your personality.


After reading about astrology and the accuracy of zodiac signs I will be more cautious and not trust what I read so easily.





4 thoughts on “How Accurate Are Horoscopes?

  1. Wendy Sun

    I’m also a Leo! I agree with you that most horoscopes are just things that could be said about anyone regardless of their sign. When I was taking ASTRO 001 last semester, the first thing I was taught is that Astrology =/= Astronomy. Despite horoscopes being so obviously fake in my opinion, people still believe in them. However there are some scenarios where horoscopes can benefit you. Say that your love horoscope says that today is your luckiest day and that you should confess your love to your crush. If you do, and it turned out well, then are horoscopes true? Sadly, it does not. However, it gives people a reason to do something they may not normally do and you may just benefit from it.

  2. Angela Maria Napolitano

    I’ve always been fascinated by zodiac signs and horoscopes and I love reading about them! I actually almost wrote one of my blogs on it until I ended up not being able to find any information that I wanted to use. I don’t put a ton of faith into horoscopes, however whenever I read descriptions and observations about the signs I nearly always say “oh my god, that’s me!” And they’re nearly always accurate for all of my friends and their signs as well. Belief in zodiac signs and the like has been around for centuries, so I’d have to say their must be some truth behind it all, even if it can’t be proven by science.

  3. Taylor M Lender

    I think horoscopes are fun to read in the newspaper in the morning, but I have never taken the predictions to heart; I view horoscopes as a form of meaningless entertainment. I have a question about Dr. Dean’s twin study. What specific personality traits were measured? I wonder if studying certain traits listed and defined in horoscopes would result in outcomes favoring the accuracy of horoscopes. Also, I think it would be difficult to operationally define different personality traits and figure out the most accurate way to measure these traits. With that being said, I agree with you that there is a lot of room for bias to leak into the design and results of this experiment.

  4. Daniel J Lehecka

    I think that largest part of this is indeed the language that they use. Saying “you dislike letting people down” would apply to probably 95% of the population, so that’s just a safe blanket statement. It’s like saying “you enjoy finding success in life”, which again sounds like it perfectly describes you but again there’s very few people that it doesn’t apply to. It’s a common tactic used in writing called the Vagueness Fallacy ( If you read intentionally non-descript definitions, some of those will stick with you. As for horoscopes, I think they describe you as a good person generally so while you shouldn’t read into them scientifically, it can’t hurt to follow them as an example.

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