Department of Educational Psychology


Date of this Version



Published in the Humanist 46:4 (July/August 1986), p. 49; “Readers’ Forum". Copyright 1986. Used by permission.


Peter Glick and Mark Snyder's article [“Self-fulfilling Prophecy: The Psychology of Belief in Astrology,” May/June 1986] provides an important account of a deep-seated irrational tendency in human reasoning. They describe how people tend to test hypotheses using a verification strategy—that is, by seeking information that would sup-port the hypothesis. Such a strategy does not really test the hypothesis since it does not look for—and is thus unlikely to find—disconfirming evidence. This may account for the failure to reject not only astrology but a variety of myths, superstitions, and stereo-types.