Reading a negative horoscope may sway a person toward guilty pleasures, a new study finds. ©shutterstock/Fanfo/shutterstock.com

Reading a negative horoscope may sway a person toward guilty pleasures, a new study finds.
©shutterstock/Fanfo/shutterstock.com

(Relaxnews) – Fans of astrology, take heed. A new study suggests that reading your daily horoscope could lead to impulsive or self-indulgent behavior.

For those days when astrology readings were negative, people were more susceptible to temptation, researchers said.

The study, announced Tuesday and published in the Journal of Consumer Research last month, revealed that believing in fate was associated with more erratic decision-making after reading bad news in one’s horoscope.

In their research, scientists from Johns Hopkins University and the University of South Carolina recruited 188 subjects who read an unfavorable horoscope and then were asked to choose between either an indulgence, such as diving into a bowl of ice-cream, or a virtuous alternate, such as cleaning the kitchen. The results showed that for people who believe they could change their fate, an unfavorable horoscope increased the likelihood of that person seeking refuge in an indulgent behavior.

However the researchers had expected subjects to choose a more virtuous action to prevent the unfavorable outcome presented in their horoscope.

“Conventional wisdom might suggest that for people who believe they can change their fate, an unfavorable horoscope should result in an attempt to improve their fate,” the authors said. “Our results showed that reading an unfavorable horoscope actually has the opposite effect on a person.”

Madonna is reportedly a fan of horoscopes and psychics, as is actress Naomi Watts, who played Princess Diana in a recent film adaptation. According to reports, she admitted to using psychics to communicate with the late princess about the part.

Access the study:

 http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.1086/674196?uid=3738016&uid=2&uid=4&sid=21103103194131

jw/kc