"A French journal of popular psychology, Psychologie d’Aujourdhui (Psychology Today), wanted to print an interview with me, and when I was in Paris on a visit to my mother I went to their office. The interview was conducted, and later written up, by Michel Gauquelin, a psychologist and statistician. At the time he mentioned to me some research he had been doing in astrology, together with his wife, Françoise, which had some intriguing and positive outcomes."
"Much as I liked Michel and Françoise, I was quite unwilling to believe what they had to say about their positive findings. At that time I had no interest whatsoever in astrology, assuming it to be a load of nonsense, and it would have taken a good deal to make me give up that attitude. However, Michel gave me some books and articles that he had written on his work, and I took them back to London with me, confident that I would soon find the methodological or statistical errors in them. There I was mistaken; as far as I could see the work had been done very carefully, honestly, and the methodology and the statistics did not contain any obvious errors." ~ Hans Eysenck Rebel with a Cause: The autobiography of Hans Eysenck (1990 p.242)
Professor Eysenck's High Opinion of Gauquelin's Work
"As far as objectivity of observation, statistical significance of differences, verification of the hypothesis, and reliability are concerned, there are few sets of data in psychology which could compete with these observations.” ~ Hans Eysenck, New Behaviour 20 May 1975 pp.246-249
Joint papers were published under the name of Eysenck's wife, Sybil Eysenck
Though Eysenck collaborated with the Gauquelins, the resulting two joint papers (1979 and 1981) were published under Eysenck's wife's name, Sybil Eysenck. [See Eysenck & Gauquelin] This may have been due to Professor Eysenck's concerns about risks to his credibility should he put his name to papers supporting the controversial field of astrology. This cutting (below) confirms the collaboration between the two researchers and the dating suggests that this occurred before the publications.
Secondary Evidence of Collaborative research between Gauquelin and Eysenck
Cutting from a German Newspaper, DO dated 6 October 1977 provided by Philip Graves, astrologer and historian. Though the year is handwritten, it appears to be reliable. The reason is that it was suggested by Pavla Paulu that the title DO referred to Donnersdag (Thursday) and 6 October 1977 happens to be a Thursday.
Graves obtained it from a private collection of books from Rudolf Fischer of Pforzheim, south-west Germany, parts of which he had purchased at auction. 'Bilder aus der Wissenschaft' (Images from Science) was the name of a regular science series on German TV.
Tanslation from Peter Stockinger
Photo Caption: Developed (or compiled) a study about astrology: the psychologists Dr. Gauquelin, Paris, and Dr. Eysenck, London
The renowned English psychologist Dr. Hans Eysenck and his French colleague, Dr. Gauquelin, recently finished a scientific investigation between them (also together). It dealt with the connection between character traits in humans and their star signs. Especially Dr Eysenck was surprised by the results of this work. He began it with the intention to refute it forcibly. But the result shows, as he says: that certain coherences between star signs and character can be determined.
Clarification of Eysenck's role with Gauquelin from Der Spiegel
An earlier article entitled, Firmanent for Talents (Himmelszelt für Talente) from the German weekly news magazine, Der Spiegel (Issue 22/1977, 23rd May 1977) offers more insight into the joint research and the role of Eysenck's wife, Sybil. (Translation by Peter Stockinger).
There is a “kernel of sense” in astrology, reckons the renowned English psychologist Hans Jürgen Eysenck.
The London professor of psychology, Hans Jürgen Eysenck is convinced that the stars do not lie: he has found “a few facts in the field of astrology”, which prove “that a relation between the position of planets (Mars, Saturn, Jupiter) at the birth of a child and its later personality” does exist.
... Eysenck discovered a possible correlation between the time of birth and personality through the statistical inquiries of the French professor Michel Gauquelin. At the beginning of the 1950s, Gauquelin had collected the birth data of 576 members of the French Academy of Medicine and discovered “that people, who would later become famous physicians, were preferably born when Mars was either rising on the horizon or culminating”.
... Eysenck, always looking for confirmation of the theory of heredity [Vererbungstheorie] had the French professor’s material analysed according to psychological criteria by his wife, who works as a lecturer at the University of London’s psychological institute. Mrs. Eysenck recorded all indications, pointing towards an introvert or extrovert personality she found in the biographies of Gauquelin’s subject group.
The material was then fed into a computer, and, Eysenck reports, “it showed, as expected, that the introverts were mainly born under Saturn, the extroverts were born under Mars or Jupiter”.
Conclusion: Four way collaboration between the two couples
So it appears from both articles that there Eysenck and Gauquelin collaborated on this study of astrology. Not only did Hans and Michel work together, but the joint studies involved their wives, Sybil and Françoise.
- Gauquelin, M.; Gauquelin, F. and Eysenck, S. B. G. (1979) Personality and position of the planets at birth: An empirical study British Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, Vol:18: pp.71–75.
Gauquelin, M.; Gauquelin, F. and Eysenck, S. B. G. (1981) Eysenck's personality analysis and position of the planets at birth: A replication on American subjects.Personality and Individual Differences, Vol 2(4) pp.346-350.
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