Anijah Lezama

Major and Classification

Fine Arts

Faculty Mentor

Emily Zeamer


Dornsife Anthropology

Research Gateway Project

Charts of Endless Knowledge: Astrology effectiveness on millennial and Gen Z decision making

Project Abstract

Millennials and Gen Z who seek advice from astrology often find that what they are told can seem true, because these pieces of information provide reasoning to things they don’t understand. Their minds seek to make sense of information that, in themselves, are general and therefore it becomes difficult to prove what is in their control and not. Many millennials and Gen Z struggle with self esteem, self-worth and advanced decision making skills, and these issues are projected to become increasingly worse in the near future. This research will serve to analyze how social media platforms such as Snapchat and Tik Tok play a role in the attraction of astrology and how Millennials and Gen Z are using it to understand themselves and their choices. Furthermore, the familiar astrological term “Mercury in Retrograde” has been used to acknowledge societal changes within relationships and professional life. Astrological compatibility and daily horoscope constitute a strategy for supporting these issues short term but not so much long-term (Fullscreen, 2019). Along with research, the paper will reflect a literature-rich review of the validity of astrology as a heuristic tool (Hamilton, 2014) and if astrology might be linked to personality factors measured by the Big Five personality traits (Burke, 2012). The Big Five personality test is a statistical study of test responses to personality items and ultimately based on the answers test takers are defined by the following traits: extraversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness and openness to experience (Burke, 2012). This paper also focuses on research conducted on a set of 49 college students done to their acceptance of trivial statements by definition of the Barnum Effect, as having a connection to an “external locus of control” and “a lower self-esteem” (Brown, R. L. et al, 2015). Furthermore, connecting this proposed hypothesis by analyzing the participants of a British study done that tests the prevalence of astrology in popular culture due to three possible hypotheses: the attraction of astrology due to lack of scientific knowledge, astrology as a implication of “metaphysical unrest” found in those with little religious orientation and the belief in astrology among those with a “authoritarian character” (Bauer 1997). The results of the findings indicate that horoscope predictions are seemingly accurate to millennials and Gen Z because they mimic cyclic traditions and patterns but are not valid because there’s no factual evidence that links birth date and experiences. The cultural reification of astrology provides the case that horoscopes predict personality and behavior which prove that they have no correlation with big five personality traits and support the hypothesis that lack of scientific knowledge and little religious orientation can support astrological beliefs. Which is in part due to low self-esteem and an external locus of control. These findings support the hypothesis that while horoscope predictions might give the appearance of aiding Gen Z and millennials in short term situations in which they can make decisions or reflect on themselves, they may be unrealistic and inaccurate. Knowledge of negative effects of reliance on horoscopes and astrology may not be found but serve to demonstrate that Gen Z and millennials find comfort in using astrology to eliminate the intimidation that adulthood brings.