Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Why reading your horoscope on diet days might be a bad idea

Date:
December 10, 2013
Source:
Journal of Consumer Research, Inc.
Summary:
Most major newspapers publish daily horoscopes, and for good reason — even when we deny being superstitious, human nature drives us to believe in our own fate. According to a new study published, consumers who believe their fate can change are more likely to exhibit impulsive or indulgent behavior after reading a negative horoscope.

Most major newspapers publish daily horoscopes, and for good reason -- even when we deny being superstitious, human nature drives us to believe in our own fate. According to a new study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, consumers who believe their fate can change are more likely to exhibit impulsive or indulgent behavior after reading a negative horoscope.

"Given the prevalence of horoscopes in Western cultures, we looked at the influence one's horoscope might have on the decisions that person makes," write authors Hyeongmin (Christian) Kim (Johns Hopkins University), Katina Kulow, and Thomas Kramer (both University of South Carolina).

In one study, participants were presented with an unfavorable horoscope and then asked to choose between either an indulgence (going to a party) or a virtuous alternate (cleaning their home). The results showed that for people who believe they could change their fate, an unfavorable horoscope increased the likelihood of that person going to the party.

Interestingly, the researchers observed that the act of counter-arguing the unfavorable horoscope required mental resources and left the fate-changers unable to resist temptation. Participants who believed in a fixed fate did not exert any mental energy on the subject, and were consequently able to stay focused on the day ahead.

"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 conclude. "Our results showed that reading an unfavorable horoscope actually has the opposite effect on a person."

The authors' findings may be of particular interest to brands selling indulgent products like chocolates, ice cream, or cake. Advertising in close proximity to the horoscope section and using slogans like "Life is what you make of it!" may be a good strategy for reaching consumers who believe their fate can be altered.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Journal of Consumer Research, Inc.. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Hyeongmin (Christian) Kim, Katina Kulow, and Thomas Kramer. The Interactive Effect of Beliefs in Malleable Fate and Fateful Predictions on Choice. Journal of Consumer Research, April 2014

Cite This Page:

Journal of Consumer Research, Inc.. "Why reading your horoscope on diet days might be a bad idea." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131210113409.htm>.
Journal of Consumer Research, Inc.. (2013, December 10). Why reading your horoscope on diet days might be a bad idea. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131210113409.htm
Journal of Consumer Research, Inc.. "Why reading your horoscope on diet days might be a bad idea." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131210113409.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stopping School Violence

Stopping School Violence

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A trauma doctor steps out of the hospital and into the classroom to teach kids how to calmly solve conflicts, avoiding a trip to the ER. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pineal Cysts: Debilitating Pain

Pineal Cysts: Debilitating Pain

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A tiny cyst in the brain that can cause debilitating symptoms like chronic headaches and insomnia, and the doctor who performs the delicate surgery to remove them. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Burning Away Brain Tumors

Burning Away Brain Tumors

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) Doctors are 'cooking' brain tumors. Hear how this new laser-heat procedure cuts down on recovery time. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins