Astrology as a Subject of Science | Gerhard Mayer

Considering astrology as a subject of science, one has to distinguish whether a scientific study on the validity of astrology investigates the correlation between astronomical circumstances, dynamics, movements and earthly events – the “above-below theorem” (ABT) – or, whether the “hit rate” of astrologers in so-called matching experiments is examined. With the second method, no direct proof of the validity of the ABT can be obtained from the results. Could the success of astrologers, beyond the effective psychological mechanisms of cognitive illusions, be attributed to their psi ability? In this SSE Community Discussion Hour, member Gerhard Mayer will discuss methodological problems related to studies in both research paradigms. This includes problems of the determination of the random expectation in ABT studies as well as the limits of validity of astrological factors in the practice of horoscope interpretation and matching experiments. A detailed depiction of this topic can be found in “Part 2: Consideration of Empirical Investigations on the Validity of Astrology” of the article “Astrology and Science: A Precarious Relationship” published in Winter issue of the JSE.

Gerhard Mayer is a researcher at the Institut für Grenzgebiete der Psychologie und Psychohygiene, IGPP, in Freiburg, Germany. His research interests concern cultural studies relating to the border areas of psychology, anomalies, shamanism, magical practices & beliefs, the biographical integration of extraordinary experiences, and scientific approaches to astrology. He is director of the Gesellschaft für Anomalistik (Society for Anomalistics) and chief editor of the Zeitschrift für Anomalistik.

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Published on December 31, 2021