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New study reveals that people who believe in astrology score higher than others in narcissistic traits

Astrology is an ancient concept, as old as time, you could say. Derived from two Greek words: ‘astra’, which means a star, and ‘logos’, which means a logic or reason, astrology signifies the doctrine and law as depicted by the stars or planets. It is the study of the movement of planets and stars and how they influence us in our daily lives. And it goes without saying that, for many, such pseudoscience can greatly influence and even validate a person’s self-concept, as well as cement beliefs about their personal attributes. In short, the ruminative nature of astrology encourages self-reflection—enabling enthusiasts to understand themselves and their environment more clearly.

A quick scroll on Instagram will easily confirm that in today’s society, astrology remains very popular—be that because some people truly believe in it or simply because the memes and apps are just too good to resist. Either way, there’s nothing wrong with dabbling in the study of the movements of celestial bodies… Or is there?

If you’re into astrology, chances are you’re a narcissist

A study conducted by researchers at Lund University, Sweden, and recently published in the peer-reviewed academic journal Personality and Individual Differences revealed that people who believe in astrology tend to score higher than others in narcissistic traits.

Prior to this research, previous studies had found that astrology enthusiasts are more likely to believe in conspiracy theories and a number of other pseudosciences, but narcissism had never appeared on the list. In order to collect data for this latest study, researchers asked 264 participants (mostly younger women) to complete surveys determining their belief in astrology. The survey, known as the ‘Big Five personality test’, consisted of a short version of the ‘Dark Triad test’—a personality inventory that explores the socially undesirable traits of narcissism, machiavellianism, and psychopathy—but was limited to assessing narcissistic traits only, on top of an overall intelligence evaluation. The researchers also threw in a single question asking participants how well they thought science supported astrology, just for the fun of it.

And, somewhat unsurprisingly, the surveys revealed that among personality factors, narcissism was by far the strongest predictor of how likely a test-taker was to believe in astrology. “Narcissism was also strongly associated with the idea that astrology is supported by science,” Big Think wrote when reporting on the matter. In simpler terms, this suggests that narcissists tend to be “fact resistant,” and therefore, more drawn to astrology than others. Hey, don’t shoot the messenger.

Interestingly, after looking at such findings, the study’s authors went on to suggest that the connection between narcissistic traits and astrology may have something to do with the tendency of horoscopes to be positively framed. When you often read about how great of a person you are, you tend to fall deeper into your narcissistic beliefs.

That being said, and before you pull out your in-depth birth chart reading from your back pocket, it should be noted that this study is not bulletproof. It should be taken with a grain of salt. Due to the high number of women who participated in their study, the authors also noted that their findings can’t be generalised to the entire population. “Additionally, the self-selection bias, social desirability bias, common method bias, and the reliance on self-reporting may introduce issues with the study that further lower its reliability,” Big Think further commented.

Despite these limitations, the study offers an interesting overview of the human self and how we each tend to see ourselves. Sure, as an Aquarius, I enjoy reading about how out-of-the-box my thinking process is, but I also believe that, in the end, we are nothing but tiny specks of dust in the universe. Am I a narcissist? Not sure, I’ll have to wait and see what tomorrow’s horoscope tells me.

But if you’re feeling self-conscious because of your burning passion for stars reading, don’t be—previous literature suggests that when societies or individuals are under stress or threat, people are more likely to turn to astrology and other epistemically unfounded beliefs. There, there, feel better now?

What it’s like to date your crush, according to their star sign

True or untrue, believable or doubtful—whatever your stance is on horoscopes, if you said you’d never had a sneak peak at your own, you’d probably be lying. For the star-curious out there, I’ve compiled all the need-to-knows for when your horoscope meets your dating life, because, well, why not? I’ve also thrown in your horoscope compatibility (in chart order, not compatibility order). Since it’s currently Aries season, the newborns of the astrological new year, I’ll start with you.

Dating an Aries

This is a hot-headed fire sign, the hell yes or hell nos. Delightfully impulsive bunch, aggressively so in some scenarios. If you’re crushing on an Aries, be prepared to engage in some competitive behaviour, and also as a word of caution: don’t fall head over heels too fast, they can drop you like a hot potato. The best way to gauge how an Aries feels about you is through their actions: if they are consistent with showing up for you, they’re probably into you. Shower them in sparkly gifts and compliments, but not too much (timing is everything) and they don’t like anything soppy. There’s a very fine balance when it comes to dating an Aries, because you’ve got to play as much of a game that keeps them interested but you also have to adore them.

Most compatible with: Gemini, Leo, Sagittarius and Aquarius.

Dating a Taurus

The grounded and trustworthy Taurus, who also seem to be hopeless romantics in all senses. They crave stability, and are great at both finding and keeping the peace. Tauruses are incredibly stubborn though, which is both a blessing and a curse—they will stick with you through thick and thin, always. You want a Taurus to be on your side, and they will probably end up being one of the best lovers of your life if they choose you to be in theirs. Consistency is key with a Taurus. Also, stay totally honest and open with this star sign—cut the bullshit or they’ll cut you.

Most compatible with: Cancer, Virgo, Capricorn and Pisces.

Dating a Gemini

If you’re clingy in any way shape or form, you can forget about dating a Gemini. This sign has a lot to say, and they are defaulted to sharing whatever it is that’s on their mind, in whatever moment. Just let them change their mind about whatever they were banging on about just five minutes before, okay? This sign craves variety, newness, diversity, and this will show through who they hang out with as well as their likely huge group of friends. They define the word ‘flirtatiousness’, but also need space to do their own thing. Geminis are air signs after all, so keep it breezy, and never foggy.

Most compatible with: Aries, Leo, Libra and Aquarius.

Dating a Cancer

Prepare to go deep. Like, deep. Dating a Cancer is like playing in the shallow waters at the beach to then suddenly, out of nowhere, you plummet off an underwater cliff. That’s only if you’re lucky though, because if they aren’t that into you, you’ll be hanging around in shallow light waves for a very long time. They don’t open up very easily, it’s a painfully slow process when it comes to them showing you their heart. Trust, family, comfort and care is truly everything for them (especially the trust part), so if you’re patient, a Cancer really is worth the wait. When or if they ever do love you, you’ll understand a whole new meaning to the words ‘nurture’ and ‘grow’.

Most compatible with: Taurus, Virgo, Scorpio and Pisces.

Dating a Leo

The Lion, it’s in the name—the king of the jungle. They love passionately, and expect a fairy tale from it. Leos lead with their heart, which can cause some drama, but know that you’ll never have to second guess if this star sign is into you or not, phew, relief! They are ambitious, and have a strong yet understated desire to be the one in control. When a Leo likes you though, you can bet on feeling safe and protected, with a side of bold and brash fireworking love.

Most compatible with: Aries, Gemini, Libra and Sagittarius.

Dating a Virgo

Practical, analytical, picky, judgemental are just a few words to describe a Virgo. This might seem intimidating, because they live in the details of life. If you blurted out something you thought insignificant years before, have no doubt that they’ll remember it—so if you’re willing to be under a microscope of opinion and adoration, Virgo’s the one for you. Give them plenty of detail to look at and consider, they’re smart, so you’re in for some interesting conversations. Also, some exciting in between-the-sheets fun, because that’s when their minds finally turn off, let’s just say… they indulge.

Most compatible with: Taurus, Cancer, Scorpio and Capricorn.

Dating a Libra

Balance. Libras are purists with their balance, and frankly I put them on a pedestal for it. They ebb and flow like no other sign, they seem to also focus on the ‘big’ pictures in a way that everything is part of a whole. There will be no hierarchy or control, just oneness. You will work as a team when dating a Libra. But you have to give back to them the effort that they put into you too. Make sure they know how you feel, and they will do the same. Expect the full monty when it comes to ‘love’ in a traditional sense, as they won’t hold back on the romance. A word of advice: don’t act jealous or as an individualist, that’s not team play.

Most compatible with: Gemini, Leo, Sagittarius and Aquarius.

Dating a Scorpio

The most misunderstood and intense of the bunch, a water sign with emotions that run deep. They feel everything, and in a contradictory way to describe them: a Scorpio is like one enormous grey area that likes things to be black or white. You’re either in or you’re out with a Scorpio, all or nothing and it’s now or never. Decide fast too, because you’ll only have a few chances for them to trust you—when or if they do though (providing you don’t break it), they will love you for a lifetime. Show them your intentions clearly. Notoriously, all things sex and touch is important to a Scorpio, and I can tell you, that’s a fact. There’s a no bullshit policy with this star sign, small talk is nails on a chalkboard to a Scorpio, they want realness. If you’re lucky enough to win your way into this one’s heart, you will experience what it feels like to be limitless, both mentally and physically.

Most compatible with: Cancer, Virgo, Capricorn and Pisces.

Dating a Sagittarius

Bold and unafraid to be truthful, in any given circumstance, this sign will most definitely keep you on your toes. It’s possibly best if you let the Sagitarius think that you’re not actually dating too, you might scare them off otherwise. This is a fiercely independent sign that basically wants a best friend and partner in crime, and it’s a lot of fun. Both adventurous and energetic, you’ll never get bored, unless of course you get bored of exploring. New places, things, foods and sounds beckon a Sagittarius like a magnet in full force. They want all that life has to offer, so expect to learn a lot of lessons on letting go if you embark on a romantic journey with one of these people. Keep them laughing, keep them keen but know that you might not be keeping them either way.

Most compatible with: Aries, Leo, Libra and Aquarius.

Dating a Capricorn

Plan ahead, eyes on the prize—no task is impossible for a Capricorn to accomplish. They are very clear about what they want, and will want to know what you want in return. This sign values consistency and proactiveness like no other, and they’re in it for the long haul. They’re a little bit tough in love though, and are resilient in the face of uncertainty. Once secured and decided on loving you, they will want to feel that they can depend on you, so make sure you’re here to support them. They also are not one to let go of one of your passing comments, so beware, but on the other hand, your birthday will never be missed. Over all, Capricorns are extremely kind and rational, you will wine and dine to your heart’s content and feel the generosity and expansive love that they have to give, in a steady and consistent way.

Most compatible with: Taurus, Virgo, Scorpio and Pisces.

Dating an Aquarius

Flamboyantly independent by nature, you’ll spot one from a mile away if you know what to look for. This sign is attracted to revolutionaries, so definitely dare to be different here. They are in a world of their own, and unconventional in their ways, but extremely loyal if they’re into you, and will usually dive in head and body all at the same time. Expect romantic and large gestures, impulsive loving, and no stones left unturned. Leave your comfort zone behind too, as well as any pre-existing expectations, because an Aquarius will blow them out the water. They’re a lot of fun to be around, and will want to study and understand you as if you’re a painting hanging on a wall. Give them space when they need it, which will be often, and they might let their phone run out of battery for days, but they’ll be back if they want to be. Loving an Aquarius might be confusing, but it’ll be wonderful too.

Most compatible with: Aries, Gemini, Libra and Sagittarius.

Dating a Pisces

Last but not least, the dreamer. This sign is emotional but not necessarily on the surface, they feel deeply, and think even deeper. Romance to a Pisces is classic, it’s picture book style classic. They will make you feel like the most beautiful thing in the room, and give you undivided attention when it’s just you and them on a date. They are creative and in tune with the world around them, but also live in a magical and fantastical world almost in parallel, and may drift in a way that makes it clear that they are somewhere else mentally. Pisces will bring joy and lightness to any given situation, expect to continuously giggle in new and wacky places each time you meet. They like to mix things up and are highly active, in a chameleonic and happy-go-lucky way. It might take a while for them to truly open up and tell you the truth of what’s really on their mind, as they tend to beat around the bush a bit, but a Pisces love is one you may never forget.

Most compatible with: Taurus, Cancer, Scorpio and Capricorn.