- As part of a nationwide survey with 8,800-respondents, we asked people what their astrological sign was, and also asked them to identify three of twelve personality descriptors that best describe them.
- People were terrible at picking their sign’s purported traits. People who say they use astrology to make decisions were even worse.
Though plenty of people don’t take astrology seriously, lots and lots of people actually do. That being said, astrological signs are linked by aficionados to a whole bunch of different character traits, ideological perspectives and habits.
As part of our nationwide personality testing survey conducted with Morning Consult, we decided to find out just how well people knew themselves and their astrological signs by asking them to identify the traits that are typically associated with their sign.
To find out if there was some sort of link between sign and their purported personality effects, as part of our Great American Personality Test we asked respondents to tell us:
• Their astrological sign • what personality traits from a list of 12 possible sets best described them.
We compiled these personality bundles based on traits found online. In each case, we highlighted a few of the most applicable character strengths and included one of the character weaknesses. Here’s which character traits were reportedly linked with each sign.
- Aquarius is “progressive, original, independent, if temperamental.”
- Pisces is “compassionate, artistic, intuitive, if fearful.”
- Aries is “determined, confident, enthusiastic, if impulsive.”
- Taurus is “reliable, patient, practical, stable, if stubborn.”
- Gemini is “gentle, curious, adaptable, if indecisive.”
- Cancer is “tenacious, highly imaginative, persuasive, if insecure.”
- Leo is “creative, generous, warm-hearted, humorous, if inflexible.”
- Virgo is “loyal, analytical, kind, practical, if critical.”
- Libra is “cooperative, gracious, social, if confrontation averse.”
- Scorpio is “resourceful, brave, passionate, if jealous.”
- Sagittarius is “generous, idealistic, great sense of humour, if impatient.”
- Capricorn is “responsible, disciplined, self-controlled, if forgiving.”
We also offered an option in the event the respondent didn’t know which best suited them. We then gave respondents an opportunity to select up to three of the character trait bundles. Our question was: even given three chances, were people any more likely to select the the personality traits that are linked to their sign?
Some star sign traits are more enviable than others
Capricorn’s traits, with their steady-as-she-goes nature, were selected by a quarter of respondents, and about a third of respondents each identified with the reliable-but-stubborn Taurus and the analytical and practical Virgo descriptions.
On the other hand, small margins of respondents identified with the tenacity and imaginative nature of Cancer, and less than a tenth recognised themselves in the resourceful Scorpio or socially conscious Libra personality types.
If people were choosing totally randomly, given three chances and 12 options, we’d anticipate that given three chances they’d mange to luck into picking their astrological sign’s personality a quarter of the time.
Is there a link between star sign and personality?
Nope. Only 19.7% of respondents identified with their star sign’s personality traits, even with three chances. People were worse at picking thei star sign’s personality traits than if they had just randomly picked any three.
But could it be that we’re counting too many people who don’t actually care about astrology?
No, it’s not that.
We asked people in this survey how often they used astrology to make decisions in the personal or business life. About one in ten said that they used astrology to make decisions “a lot.”
You’d think that the people who used astrology to make decisions in their life would be really good at picking the personality traits linked to their sign, right?
They actually did worse. Only 18.5% of people who used astrology a lot to make decisions ended up picking their sign’s personality traits, which is less than the overall figure, and lower than the percentage of people who don’t use astrology to make decisions at all.
On one hand, this leaves me sceptical of astrological signs’ ability to actually determine personality. On the other hand, I am a Virgo, and that is such a Virgo conclusion to make.
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