How reliable is astrology

Horoscopes are often smiled at, but you can read them anywhere. Are horoscopes humbug that you can do without?

I do not think so. Horoscopes create an important communicative contact with the audience, which is otherwise rather untypical for the magazine. Here the reader is suggested encouragement and consolation, he receives confirmation and motivation and the feeling that one is interested in his life. He reads his horoscope even though he knows that it was not written for himself.

Why are horoscopes always correct somehow?

There are many tricks: Formulations such as "A decision, a change is imminent, you will gain an advantage" are frameworks that can cover all situations. Also, one does not commit to one area, so one does not say: "You will be lucky in love", but rather "In love, work and health things are going up". In some area that is the case.

But that you will soon find great love, you read that quite often - very specifically.

Yeah, but what's coming soon? For one it is next week, for another it will happen next year. Again, you can never prove the opposite.

Are there more of these typical elements?

Opposites are also often formulated: "You should brood less and show more zest for action". This creates scales of sensitivity on which each reader can find his own position. Opposites are also often used, such as the advice that one should take advantage of opportunities and career opportunities, be active, and make demands to superiors. On the other hand, one should be patient, wait in the event of a conflict, check everything, show restraint.

Isn't that confusing?

Basically, it's about moderation, about avoiding extremes. Horoscopes form an area of ​​the mean - everyone feels that they are located there. Many empty formulaic terms and metaphors - "You are on the right track", "In the fast lane", "Stumbling blocks", "Emergency brake" - deliberately leave the reference unclear, the reader can apply it for himself. Proverbs and generalities are also popular, as they cannot be refuted: "What you can get today ...", "Every thing has two sides" - that is not wrong from that point of view.

So every Aries interprets their horoscope differently?

Exactly. The linguistic elements have a general potential that the individual interprets for himself, that is: It depends on the reader how far a horoscope applies. Psychological research has shown that if you believe in the properties, you will find yourself.

That doesn't sound like the magic of the stars ...

Partly. Astrological terms such as planets and constellations - "Mars provides ..." - appeal to modern humans who always strive for explanations. On the other hand, there is also a hint of the mysterious, people feel guided by unearthly powers.

Do the media use this fascination for their reader loyalty?

Absolutely. Many magazines go to great lengths to design their horoscopes. With the horoscopes, they send a signal to their readership, which is intended to encourage them to buy. This works perfectly with annual horoscopes in particular: reader loyalty is achieved through flattering formulations such as: "You are attractive and intelligent, you can achieve anything". This is most common in women's magazines. Women especially like to hear compliments.

So do magazines consciously address their target group through horoscopes?

Studies in English have shown that horoscopes in magazines are often tailored precisely to their readership. The horoscope in a glossy magazine will also advise its readers: "Recharge your batteries, treat yourself to a wellness holiday!", Because it also has the appropriate clientele. Horoscopes thus reflect social realities.

Has the shape of horoscopes changed with society in recent decades?

Certainly the formulations used to be more conservative, the topics have changed. But astrology as a cultural system would be subject to separate analysis. In any case, what has hardly changed is the breath of mystery that surrounds horoscopes. That is why women are also more amenable to star belief.

So horoscopes are not for men then?

Various studies show that men tend to be skeptical about horoscopes. They believe less in astrology than women.

That men say that about themselves is understandable. Nobody likes to say: "Yes, I love McDonalds". Nevertheless, the sales speak for themselves ...

Good point. Of course, the results are only based on what the people said, that doesn't have to mean that it really is. Psychological studies have shown, however, that men are more likely to orientate themselves towards models. And that is at least proven.

Katja Furthmann doesn't believe in horoscopes. Still, she reads them regularly. You can read why on the next page ...