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Love signs
Fail world's largest tests (N=27m)

Geoffrey Dean

Abstract -- Three recent studies (Sachs 1998, Castille 2004, Voas 2007) with a combined sample size of 27 million couples have failed to find the slightest evidence for sun sign effects, thus confirming the results of earlier studies (which are briefly reviewed). Studies of sun sign compatibility largely avoid the problems that plague the testing of individual signs, namely those due to demography (depending on place and country some months have more births than others) and astronomy (due to the Earth's elliptical orbit some signs have more days than others), which here generally cancel out. We follow the tests in some detail to see how huge samples can tease out apparent astrological effects only to find them explained by recording bias and other glitches in the data. Despite the giant magnifying glass of huge samples, no sun sign effects could be detected. Interestingly, many studies have shown that sun sign self-attribution has a tiny effect size typically around 0.08, showing that some people have sufficient belief in sun signs to shift their self-image in the believed direction, albeit only slightly. But the same belief seems to have no effect when picking a partner (effect size <0.000,001), showing that such beliefs may shift their own self-image but not the actual behaviour of others. That is, even for them, the real world always prevails over astrology world. In short, lonely hearts (and anybody else including astrologers) who worry about sun signs (and by extension astrology itself) are absolutely wasting their time.

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