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Astrology versus Psychology

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posted on Dec, 30 2003 @ 12:01 PM
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During this past summer to occupy my time with being jobless, I took some psychology courses... and from the start I knew it wasn't going to go well.

After purchasing the text book, I read in Chapter One that "Astrology is a false 'science' devoid of any factual evidence or support". I skoffed at this idea; I've generated charts, read about predictions, and other things associated with astrology, and have found nothing to discredit it.

Anyway, the psychology book explained astrology as being false because it takes a general assumption of individuals based on common links, such as birth dates (duh), and tries to help people by giving them generalized terms or conditions.

Huh?

I brought this to the attention of the psychology teacher; I asked her how is astrology any different than psychology? Psychology gives its patients a sense of worth by giving terms and conditions that the patient must figure out themselves... there is even a branch of psychology that groups people together, and makes predictions of behavior, based on where they were born, environment, etcetera. Sounds like astrology to me.

She responded by saying the psychology is factual because it is excepted by the medical field, whereas astrology is pushed away because "you cannot predict a person's behavior by the stars".

So I tried telling her that astrology is no different to psychology than alchemy was to chemistry, that astrology was the basis of psychology... but she still wouldn't budge from the socially excepted "truth".

Until...

I brought to her attention that the theories behind Frued's work was based on Kabalism (sexual themes, three states of being, etcetera), and that Jung practiced Eastern Mystism. This lead to my teacher doing her own research (and finding out that the two psychologists did base their theories on those systems).

Yet, she still believes psychology over astrology, which is fine, to each their own.

But isn't it interesting that psychology is so heavily similiar to astrology, yet no professional will admit it? The only downside I can see with astrology is that it gives its reader a sense of hope... it builds up the person's esteem, letting them go on (whereas psychology cost thousands of dollars, never gets resolved, and makes the patient anxious for the next session).

Two sides of the same coin is all I can say... can't be good at forecasting someone's future without knowing that person and how their mind works.

[Edited on 30-12-2003 by soothsayer]




posted on Dec, 30 2003 @ 12:03 PM
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Are you refering to astrology, or astronomy?



posted on Dec, 30 2003 @ 12:10 PM
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Thanks... I thought I was screwing something up (at library, getting some books, got things confused).

Fixed the post, so it reads right now!



posted on Dec, 30 2003 @ 12:57 PM
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Interesting insight....

Some people simply have closed minds... It's easy to see why your teacher is teaching, instead of in active practice.... You would think that to be a successful psychologist, you'd have to have an open mind....



posted on Dec, 30 2003 @ 01:54 PM
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Well, I would argue that astrology is completely fictional. If you look into two different news papers, you will get two different results (in astrological readings or horoscopes). Honestly, many people are born at roughly the same time every day. If astrology was correct. All of these people would have similar lives and similar things happening to them. Reality says that is not true. People are individuals guided by their own choices. Their choices are based on their surroundings. Their choices are unique.

For instance:
Two twins, born minutes apart. One dies at a young age, as the other lives to be very old. That doesn't mix with astrology.

Normaly I would say that it is opinion. Unfortunately it is not in this case. If only things were that easy in reality.



posted on Jan, 1 2004 @ 01:27 PM
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The book used in this class was "Psychology and the Cahllenges of Life", 8th Edition, by Spencer Rathus and Jeffrey Nevid.


Excepts from Chapter 1 "Critical Thinking and Adjustment"...

"Psychologists are critical thinkers. They are skeptical. They insist on seeing the evidence before they will accept people's claims and arguements as to what is true and what is false. The same procedures can be applied to pseudosciences (false sciences) such as astrology.

"Most of us have personality traits in common. But what do tea leaves, bird droppings, palms (of your hands, not on the tropical sands), and the stars have in common?

"Astrology is based on the notion that the position of the sun, the moon, and the stars affect human temperament and human affairs.

"Apply principles of critical thinking to the claims of astrologers. For example, does the fact that there may be a long-standing tradition in astrology affects its scientific credibility? Are the tides of the seas comparable to human personality and destiny?

"Social psychologist Carol Tavis notes that magical predictions tend to keep their allure. For one thing, scientists make predictions about groups, not individuals... ...Sad to say, even in our age of scientific enlightenment, many people are more comfortable with stories and leaps of faith than they are with objective evidence and statistical probability."

There are a few things in that section that got me to thinking. Hasn't it been proven that the moon does affect some people, and that our human nature is very much like the seas? But to further this post, let me describe that section dealing with "scientists predict groups"...

Taken from Chapter Two...

"Social-Cognitive Theory- Developed by Bandura, this system sets, as its ground work, that to understand yourself, you have to observe the others around you, and find common threads, to help predict a likely outcome. This system gathers informtaion about similiar backgrounds, uniting different minded individuals, and predicts behavior."

There's more, put the baby just woke up... I'll edit this post later!



posted on Jan, 1 2004 @ 03:21 PM
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It is different in that psychology takes all of the information about a person, and then finds out why they do something. Astrology takes all the information about a person and finds out what they will do next. Sure, it has its reasons, but saying that 'Saturn moves through Aries this year, looks like you sir, are going to be rich.' isn't the same as 'So, you're a chain smoker, a compulsive drinker, both your children hate you, that is, the two still living, your wife left you for the mail man, and the rest of your family disowned you... I'm thinking you want to kill yourself because you've had a terrible life, and its dragging you down too much. You need something new and good to focus on.'

Now, I know, the two statements were drastically different, but it illustrates that one takes a (seemingly) arbitrary piece of astronomical data and then uses some sort of chart to determine what happens to you in the future, while the other takes a close look at your personality, gets as much detail about you and your life as possible, then tries to explain why you do certain things, and whether or not you will need help coping with them.

One is prediction, the other is explanation.



posted on Jan, 2 2004 @ 02:57 AM
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I'm guessing astrology became a form of devination and a taboo study due some mentionings in the bible. However it is rather strange that if you search far enough in history when life was without all the knowledge and technology we have avail today, you will find they the ancient people relied on the stars for just about everything!

Somewhere along the way..we were steered away from studying the stars and their affect on lifeforms-mainly humans-I'm guessing because it was/is infact so dead on correct(the deeper you go) otherwise it wouldn't be a *sin* or something so taboo. I'm thinking that God doesn't want us to possess such knowledge..I'm guessing He may consider this His knowledge and not something He wants His children playing around with.

I see where you are coming from Soothsayer. It makes no sense to follow one particular study and generalization of mankind and restrict another.

Very interesting post



posted on Jan, 2 2004 @ 03:32 AM
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"The only downside I can see with astrology is that it gives its reader a sense of hope... it builds up the person's esteem, letting them go on (whereas psychology cost thousands of dollars, never gets resolved, and makes the patient anxious for the next session).

Two sides of the same coin is all I can say..."


And I agree. Both have elements of being more self fulfilling than anything.

They portend to explain behavior by studying the behavior itself in a bit of a self defining loop. Alot of empirically based research fixates only on supporting evidence, and never even sees any contrary evidence as being relevant.

For this reason, one could make as good an arguemnt FOR say Phrenology or cold reader Psychics as Psychology or Astrology. There's less "scientific" proof behind psychology than most like to admit. It's a theoretical science, by necessity.

But now BRAIN SURGEONS kick azz! Not really, but they could if the law let them experiment.



posted on Jan, 4 2004 @ 09:05 AM
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Originally posted by RANT
There's less "scientific" proof behind psychology than most like to admit. It's a theoretical science, by necessity.



I had brought that up with my teacher; she found it interesting as well. With psychology being a proven and well established science, there sure are alot of different theories and methods. Seems everyone who is a professional in this field has their own how to book or idea as to how psychology should be done.

I know many sciences have various theories... but they are more in the lines of formulas and methods to prove a pre-existing and known/determined goal (such as mathmatics, chemistry and physics).

Psychology, as a whole, has too many variables. How could it even be defined as a science when no one can agree on a method, course of actions, or results?



posted on Jan, 4 2004 @ 03:52 PM
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The same and far worse for astrology.

The variables are far greater if you can interpret almost any combination of events to mean almost anything.

In psychology, you can draw real relations between actions and events. Screaming at a grocery bag implies a mental disorder. In astrology, you are left to draw strained conclusions from things that have no obvious connection, if mars appears off colour, then you will have a poor temperament.

I don't understand how so many of you can really think of astrology as this comparable to psychology.. One examines the self then predicts possibilites and forms explanations, the other looks at the sky then makes predictions with fabled explanations. They're completely different, its like comparing palmistry to neurosurgeons, they're not at all alike.

(Finding a good analog to Astro Vs. Psycho is actually hard, I don't feel I really did it here..)



posted on Jan, 4 2004 @ 04:06 PM
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I think people are confusing astrology with horoscopes. Related as they may be, they aren't the same. One can believe in astrology without believing in horoscopes predictions.

It all depends on your view of life.



posted on Jan, 5 2004 @ 10:22 AM
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And I was just commenting on how psychology belittles astrology, when to me, it seems that astrology was probably the start of psychology in the first place (much like alchemy was to chemsitry).



posted on Jan, 5 2004 @ 10:50 AM
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Originally posted by Viendin
The same and far worse for astrology.

The variables are far greater if you can interpret almost any combination of events to mean almost anything.

In psychology, you can draw real relations between actions and events. Screaming at a grocery bag implies a mental disorder. In astrology, you are left to draw strained conclusions from things that have no obvious connection, if mars appears off colour, then you will have a poor temperament.

I don't understand how so many of you can really think of astrology as this comparable to psychology.. One examines the self then predicts possibilites and forms explanations, the other looks at the sky then makes predictions with fabled explanations. They're completely different, its like comparing palmistry to neurosurgeons, they're not at all alike.

(Finding a good analog to Astro Vs. Psycho is actually hard, I don't feel I really did it here..)


I love this post, and in fact scream at grocery bags myself on occassion, but feel compelled to highlight this point:


In psychology, you can draw real relations between actions and events.


There's a problem with the word "real". Again, psychology remains theoretical by definitional necessity. There's a problem with ANY science (pseudo or otherwise) that relies entirely on empirical evidence as do psychology and astrology. Example: 90% of people that scream at grocery bags may in fact be crazy. BUT a wealth of empirical evidence may also be shown to support astrology in one's own empirical research, as in...every Scorpio I know is a ranting, backstabbing, overly sexed harpie. (You get the idea.)

Now your example of Neurosurgeons may be slightly 'better' as dealing in the physical world of cause and effect study... but problems remain with psychology. This relatively new 'science' is constantly changing... gays are crazy, gays are normal, hating gays is crazy, alcoholism is a moral defect, no wait it's not... theories abound in the discipline making it more worthy of cocktail banter than 'evidence' of anything. Much like astrology.

And I agree with alice that the 'predictions' of horoscopes is not the kind of astrology to which I'm referring. Think emotive. Cancers are emotional. Well THEY are! Leo's are dominant...yup 9 times out of 10!

Now, some may be self fullfilling, but the same may be said of psychology.






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