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CHEONG WAI YEE
CHOONG CHIA YEE
IMBERT NARUMANAN SEBASTIAN
JEREMY PHILIP MONTEIRO
LIM JIT SHEN
Pseudo psychology is branch under the studies of psychology. Pseudo psychology however it isn’t known for its reliability as it is not been scientifically proven to be a true. Although it isn’t scientifically proven yet, there are still a large number of people who still believe in it as it has grown to be what many people consider as a cultural phenomenon over the years. There are several forms of pseudo psychology and it can be classified into groups like astrology, phrenology, graphology and palmistry. Astrology is the study of stars, phrenology on the other hand focuses on the study of the human skull. Graphology studies the handwriting of people and finally palmistry is the study of the human palm.
Over the years, horoscopes have been popularize and has become a part of people’s daily lives. Horoscope is a form of pseudo psychology as it grouped under Astrology, the study of stars. Horoscope is an astrological chart or diagram that is represented based on where the Sun, Moon, stars and planets are position. Horoscopes are divided into 12 categories like Pieces, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, and Aquarius.
The objective of the assignment is to find out why people believe in pseudo psychology. We selected to focus on astrology in this research is due to the familiarity of it to most students. A survey was conducted among 50 students at random within the Faculty of Social Science, Arts and Humanities. Each student were asked to answer a set of 15 questions per survey. However, there were a number of students who had to be briefed on what pseudo psychology is before proceeding with the questionnaire.
Based on question 1, do you know about pseudo psychology, 72% of the students have answered yes whereas 28% of the students answered no. Majority of the students from FSAH know what is pseudo psychology.
Based on question 2, which one of the below have you heard of, 42 students know about astrology while only 4 students know about phrenology. Majority of the students from FSAH know about astrology.
Based on question 3, which one of the below are you most interested in, 80% of students answered astrology whereas 2% of student answered phrenology. Majority of the students from FSAH are more interested in astrology compared to phrenology.
Based on question 4, where do you usually come across with pseudo psychology, 27 students answered social media while only 6 answered others. Majority of the students of FSAH come across with pseudo psychology when using social media.
Based on question 5, on the scale of 1-10, how much do you believe in the content you have read, 38% of the students answered 5 while 2% of the students answered 1, 9 and 10 respectively. Majority of the students from FSAH think that the content they read from the mass media is only rated 5 from the scale 1 to 10 on their believes.
Based on question 6, do you mostly read about positive or negative content, we have 84% of students answering positive and 16% of students answering negative. Majority of the students from FSAH read more of the positive content from the media on pseudo psychology.
Positive content is when one praises another or give compliments. Examples of positive content that students might come across when reading the horoscope is that they might read about their lucky day or their secret admirer will talk to them. Negative content is when one gives discourage or disappointed content. Examples of negative content that students might come across when reading the horoscope is that they might read about their health is not really good today or reading about having a misunderstanding with friends.
Based on question 7, how often do you come across with pseudo psychology, we have 36% of students answering once a month and only 10% of students answering everyday. Majority of the students from FSAH come across pseudo psychology once a month.
Based on question 8, do you know the sign that you were born under, we have 88% of students answering yes and only 12% students answering no. Majority of the students from FSAH know the sign that they were born under.
Based on question 9, do you agree that the characteristics associated with the sign accurately reflects your personality, we have 58% of students answering partly and 8% which is 4 answering no and another 8% which is 4 answering don’t know. Majority of the students from FSAH agree that the characteristics associated with the sign accurately reflects their personality.
Based on question 10, do you read the horoscope columns in the newspapers, we have 86% of students answering yes and 14% of students answering no. Majority of the students from FSAH read the horoscope columns in the newspapers.
Based on question 11, if you read your horoscope, which one of the following would you associate with doing so, there are 36 students chose for fun and only 1 student chose others. Majority of the students from FSAH read their horoscope because they think it is fun.
Based on question 12, have you ever taken a horoscope quiz online, 60% of students answered yes whereas 40% of students answered no. Majority of the students from FSAH have taken a horoscope quiz online.
Based on question 13, have you ever purchased any books or magazines related to horoscope, 60% of students answered no whereas 40% of students answered yes. Majority of the students from FSAH have not purchased any books or magazines related to horoscope.
Based on question 14, if you are in a relationship, will you find out the signs of the people you are dating, 66% of the students answered yes while 34% answered no. Majority of the students from FSAH will find out the signs of the people they are dating.
Based on question 1, on the scale of 1-10, how much has pseudo psychology made an impact in your life, 28% of the students answered 5 and none answered 9. Majority of the students from FSAH rated 5 on the scale of one to ten on how much has pseudo psychology made an impact in their lives.
Based on the research conducted, we are able to understand that a lot of students from the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities are aware of what pseudo psychology is, especially like astrology. We can also see that they choose to expose themselves to pseudo psychology through the media like the newspaper or when taking a quiz about it online; it is a voluntary action. However, we are able to conclude that a vast majority who are expose to it often tend to focus only on the positive information. This is similar form of confirmation bias, where if someone’s horoscope says that they’ll have horrible luck that day, they forget about it and choose to not believe it. However if the information shows that they’d be having good luck that day, they’d say that horoscopes really works.
We can also see that the media plays a role at influencing pseudo psychology. To those who knew what pseudo psychology is, it is due to media exposure on pseudo psychology. Pseudo psychology can be found in a number of media like the newspaper, magazine, Internet, phone applications and more. This helps reinforce the fact that the media does play a role in influencing people.
Based on the research, there are more than half that believe and strongly believe in pseudo psychology. It is possible that majority of students from FSAH agrees that pseudo psychology does make an impact in their lives. Hence, with the majority of the ones who heard about pseudo psychology and the higher values on the scale resulting from questions 5 and 15, we can safely deduce that people from FSAH are more inclined to believe the content that they are expose to; therefore making it possible to conclude that they do believe in pseudo psychology even though it is yet to be scientifically proven.
- Martyn Shuttleworth(Jul 5, 2008). Survey Research Design. Retrieved Nov 22, 2014 from Explorable.com:https://explorable.com/survey-research-design
- Coon, D. & Mitterer, J.O. (2007) Introduction to psychology. (11th ed.) Thompson/Wadsworth
- Kelly, “Why Astrology Doesn’t Work,” Psychological Reports, 82, 1998, pp. 527-546. Retrived from:http://www.karenmoulton.com/astrologysite/article3.htm
- Paul R. T., (1978). Why Astrology is a Pseudoscience.PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association, Volume one, Page 223-234. Retrived from: http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/192639?uid=3738672&uid=2134&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&sid=21105285037323
- I. W. Kelly, “Modern Astrology: A Critique,” Psychological Reports, 81, 1997, pp. 1035-1066. Retrived from:http://www.karenmoulton.com/astrologysite/article3.htm
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