The Relationship Between Zodiac Signs and Big Five Personality Traits: The Barnum Effect or Something More?

Lyndsie Cox Hanover College
Faculty Sponsor(s): Stephen Dine Young Hanover College
Previous research has been skeptical about the possible relationship between zodiac signs and personality traits. This research has tended to attribute the similarities that individuals might see between themselves and a zodiac reading as an example of the Barnum effect (i.e, the acceptance of overgeneralized statements a personally relevant). The purpose of the current study was to further investigate whether any the relationship between zodiac signs, personality traits and the Barnum Effect can be demonstrated. Based on a standard reading of astrological signs, an expected relationship between each of the signs and each of the Big-5 personality characteristics (openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism) was established. Participants will be contacted via e-mail and social media. They will be given an online survey which includes demographic questions, including birthdate, and the BFI-2 (Big Five Inventory-2). Finally, each participant will be given a generic personality description that they will be led to believe is based on their actual sign, followed by three questions about the perceived accuracy of the description and their familiarity with zodiac signs. It is predicted that the impact of the Barnum Effect has been over-stated in zodiac interpretations. Implications for how zodiacs are interpreted and utilized by individuals will be explored.
Oral Presentation

When & Where

09:30 AM
Pharmacy & Health Sciences 103