The validity of astrological predictions on marriage and divorce: a longitudinal analysis of Swedish register data

Jonas Helgertz, Kirk Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper examines astrology, a concept that is considered unscientific by broad segments of the population in the western world. Despite this, astrology remains for some an important source for advice regarding choices in a range of different matters, including career and relationships. The continuing popularity of astrology may at least partly be linked to an insufficient body of empirical research that has been able to test hypotheses formulated by astrological theory, both due to a lack of data beyond very small study populations as well as astrological predictions frequently being vague and thereby difficult to test. This article examines how differences in astrological favorability influence partner choice in marriage as well as the divorce risk among married couples using longitudinal individual-level data from Sweden over the period 1968-2001. The results fail to provide any consistent evidence to support the notion that astrologically more compatible couples are either overrepresented among observed marital unions or associated with a lower risk of divorce.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number34
JournalGenus
Volume76
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge infrastructural support from the Centre for Economic Demography, Lund University. Earlier versions of this manuscript have been presented at seminars at the Stockholm University Demography Unit and at the University of Minnesota Life Course Center. Comments and suggestions from seminar participants are gratefully acknowledged. Helgertz acknowledges the Minnesota Population Center, which receives core funding from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), grant number P2C HD041023. Additionally, Helgertz acknowledges the University of Minnesota Life Course Center, funded by the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health under award number P30AG066613. The funding bodies played no role in the carrying out of the study.

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge infrastructural support from the Centre for Economic Demography, Lund University. Earlier versions of this manuscript have been presented at seminars at the Stockholm University Demography Unit and at the University of Minnesota Life Course Center. Comments and suggestions from seminar participants are gratefully acknowledged. Helgertz acknowledges the Minnesota Population Center, which receives core funding from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), grant number P2C HD041023. Additionally, Helgertz acknowledges the University of Minnesota Life Course Center, funded by the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health under award number P30AG066613. The funding bodies played no role in the carrying out of the study.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, The Author(s).

Keywords

  • Astrology
  • Divorce
  • Longitudinal analysis
  • Marriage

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