The Effect of the Nature and Perceived Validity of Zodiac Personality Predictions of on Logic Test Performance


  • Rebecca L. Brown Ursinus College
  • Moira E. Kisch Ursinus College
  • Maria R. Miller Ursinus College
  • Nicole M Pacera Ursinus College
  • Rebecca M. Perrottet Ursinus College
  • Jennifer L. Stevenson Ursinus College


priming, validity, horoscope, Chinese Zodiac, self-perception


This study investigated the effect of priming on puzzle performance in 49 students. Subjects were given fictitious Chinese Zodiac personality descriptions and asked to complete a Sudoku puzzle. Descriptions were manipulated based on nature (positive or negative) and perceived validity (valid or not valid) of description. Subjects read fictitious research statistics that either supported or refuted the validity Chinese Zodiac Animal Signs in order to manipulate perceived validity. It was hypothesized that participants who received the positive/valid horoscope and negative/invalid horoscope predictions would perform best. Findings supported previous literature that priming subjects to think a certain way can affect behavior (Gramzow, Johnson, & Willard, 2014). Subjects primed to think positively about themselves performed better than those primed to think negatively about themselves. Additionally, perceived validity of horoscope predictions had no effect on performance. This study also discovered a marginally significant trend for participants to reject information that negatively affected their self-perceptions. This research expands upon existing knowledge on priming of positive or negative personality traits in order to fully understand its effect on performance.






Empirical Research