Can Psychological Profiles
match birth charts?
Note: This article is an extract from a 28 page peer reviewed paper entitled "Can Extraversion [E] and Nueroticism [N] as defined by Eysenck match the Four Astrological Elements?" written by Robert Currey and published in Correlation Journal Vol.31 (1) 2017. Detailed explanations, results, tables, citations and a number of additional graphs can be obtained from the original publisher. You can also review the abstract on line.
Do extreme scores for Extraversion [E] and Neuroticism [N] in a psychological personality test show up in a birth chart?
The Signs of the Zodiac divide into four elements Fire: Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius; Air : Gemini, Libra and Aquarius, Earth: Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn and Water: Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces. Though the typologies from Eysenck's Personality Inventory came from the same origin as the Zodiacal Elements in Hellenistic Greece or possibly earlier, the elemental divisions in astrology differ in a number of ways. Attempts to find a neat fit by Dr Geoffrey Dean (1985a-b, 1986) who collected the data and other researchers failed to find a match.
When Eysenck's character traits for each typology are compared with the keywords for the elements by leading astrologers a simpler and superior match is found. A revised analysis of EPI gives statistically significant backing (p= .008) for a correlation between EPI and astrological Elements.
Professor Hans Eysenck devised the EPI. (The Eysenck Personality Inventory)
Matching the EPI traits with Astrological Keywords
In his Eysenck Personality Index (EPI), Professor Hans Eysenck’s two scales [E&N] result in four psychological types: Extraversion [E+], Introversion [E-], Neuroticism [N+] and Emotional Stability [N-].
Eysenck’s trait words for his psychological types were sorted into their corresponding astrological Element. This process required research into two classic astrological textbooks: Robert Hand’s Horoscope Symbols (1981) and Stephen Arroyo’s Astrology, Psychology and the Four Elements (1975).
The circular diagram with keywords in each quadrant (to the right) was originated by the Eysencks. I have altered the diagram to identify the semantic matches by colour and a code letter e.g fire keywords are in red and coded [F]. The details of how each match was made is itemised in the original study, published in Correlation (Currey 2017).
Four observations are evident:
Fire keywords are exclusively Extraverted [E+]. Right hemisphere.
Earth keywords are exclusively Introverted [E-]. Left hemisphere.
Air keywords are exclusively Emotionally Stable [N-]. Lower hemisphere.
Water keywords fall in all four typologies.
Testing the Semantic Match on 288 subjects
I then tested this semantic match on 288 subjects. These were kindly provided by Dr Dean along with birth details and EPI scores from earlier studies (1985). From a parent study of 1,198 participants, Dean had selected 24% (288) with the most extreme scores for E+, E-, N+, N- and combinations of two E and N categories e.g. E+N-. This resulted in 8 categories of 36 subjects. Of the 288 sample, 58% of the subjects were university students and 84% were born in the southern hemisphere.
E&N Scores and the Elements compared
This study examines the astrological Elements of the Sun, Moon and the Ascendant (referred to as planets). Most astrologers consider these three celestial factors to be the primary influences in interpreting a birth chart. In addition, they are the only personal 'planets' that move independently.
Measuring Planetary Frequencies against Extraversion traits
The number of planets for each test subject were totalled for each element. These totals were then added to a score for each psychological type. The 108 extreme Extraverts (E+) had a total of 99 planets in Fire Signs. Of the 108 with high Introversion (E-), only 73 planets were in Fire Signs. This resulted, as expected, in 26 more planets in Fire Signs in the charts of Extraverts compared with the Introverts. From these two groups, the reverse occurred with the Earth planets favouring introversion with 27 more planets in the E- group than the E+
The Extravert and Introvert scores were compared in each element and the balance of the scores are set out on the left bar graph below. To the right is the same scoring system applied to the traits. So, the Fire and Earth planets showed a clear pattern while the Air and Water planets were spread more evenly within the two personality types. This result is exactly as expected based on the personality traits.
Measuring Planetary Frequencies for Neuroticism against the EPI
As with the Extraverts and Introverts, the group of 108 Neurotics [N+] were compared with the 108 emotionally stable [N-] types. While the match between the planetary frequencies and the traits is not as compelling as with the extraverts, those rated as emotionally stable had considerably more planets in Air Signs than those with high Neuroticism as anticipated. Planets in earth signs were more plentiful in the birth charts of Neurotics than expected, though the result is in the right direction. Water and Air planets were around average as expected.
Combining the results in a Scatter Plot
The results collected so far can be projected onto a scatter plot and measured by linear regression. There is a strong positive linear relationship between the planets and the traits following Cohen's (1988) interpretation of effect size. The results from Pearson’s coefficients of correlation with significance testing using the t-test calculations were combined using Fisher's meta-analysis. Overall the correlations are highly significant: p = .0083 or there is a 1 in 120 (99.17%) chance that these correlations (or closer) could not have occurred by chance.
Ruling out artefacts & Self-Attribution
It is important to rule out possible artefacts since significant results supporting astrological claims challenges the belief systems of extreme critics of astrology. To remove any doubt, the data was collected by three independent sources, two senior academics at two universities and Geoffrey Dean, the most well-known critic of astrology. There is no evidence that the subjects had any interest in astrology or incentive to validate astrology or that astrology was implied in the collection of data. There is no evidence that subjects were self-attributing the qualities of their Sun Sign in their responses to their psychological profile questionnaire. However, to eliminate this criticism, I removed the main traditional significator of extraversion the Sun Sign. Of the 217 remaining independent cases where the Moons or Ascendants are in Fire or Earth Signs, 126 fell in the 'correct' zone. A binomial sign test results in p=.01 (90% probability that this result could not be replicated by chance). So, even when we break down the sample to remove any question of self-attribution into a small group and use less relevant planetary influences, the correlation remains significant.
The study published in Correlation goes onto to reaffirm and add to these results with a more detailed analysis of the data by category. From this initial presentation, it should evident that there were significant correlations between the astrological elements (Fire, Air and Earth) as described by leading astrologers in the charts of those with extreme Extraversion, Introversion, Neuroticism and Emotional Stability. Following tradition, Fire connects with Extraversion, Air with Emotional Stability and Earth with Introversion.
To cite this paper
Currey, Robert (2017) Can Extraversion [E] and Neuroticism [N] as defined by Eysenck match the four Astrological Elements? Correlation Vol.31(1) pp.5-33
Arroyo, Stephen (1975) Astrology, Psychology and the Four Elements, CRCS
Brennan, Chris (2017) Hellenistic Astrology. The study of Fate and Fortune, Amor Fati Publications p.261 “Our earliest source for the association of each of the signs of the zodiac with the four elements is in the writings of Vettius Valens in the mid-second century CE. This was first pointed out by Robert Hand in Valens, The Anthology, Book 1, (1993) trans. Schmidt, ed. Hand p.ii”.
Cohen J. (1988) Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences, (2nd edition). Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Dean, G. & Hedgecock R. (1979), The elements vs psychology, astrology and palmistry: an empirical clarification. Part 1. Astrological Journal 1979. 2 pp.75-82 and 110.
Dean, G. (1981) Planets and Personality Extremes Correlation 1(2) pp.15-18
Dean, G. (1985a), Can astrology predict E and N? 1: Individual Factors, Correlation, Vol.5 #1, pp.3-17.
Dean, G. (1985b), Can astrology predict E and N? 2: the whole chart, Correlation, Vol.5 #2, pp.2-24.
Dean, G. (1986), Can astrology predict E and N? 3: discussion and further research, Correlation, Vol.6 #2, pp. 7-52. Includes meta-analyses of astrological studies.
Eysenck, Hans Jürgen & Eysenck, Sybil B. G. (1958) Personality and individual differences. London: Plenum Publishing
Eysenck, H. & Eysenck, S. (1964) The Manual of the Eysenck Personality Inventory, Hodder & Stoughton, London
Eysenck, H. & Nias, D. (1982) Astrology. Science or Superstition, Penguin
Hand, Robert (1981) Horoscope Symbols, Whitford Press.
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