Research Finds Birth Season May Influence Personality

New research has found that people’s personalities tend to vary depending on the season in which they were born.

That may be why astrological signs developed as a useful system for remembering these patterns, according to an analysis by Mark Hamilton, Ph.D., a social scientist in the Communication Department at the University of Connecticut.

These seasonal effects may not be clear in individuals, but can be discerned through averaging personality traits across large groups of people born at the same time of year, he notes in his analysis, which was published in Comprehensive Psychology.

According to Hamilton, psychologists have known that certain personality traits tend to be associated with certain birth months.

For example, people born in January and February tend to be more creative, and have a higher chance of being diagnosed with schizophrenia, than people born at any other time of year, he said. Meanwhile, people born in odd-numbered months tend to be more extroverted than those born in even-numbered months.

Traditional Western astrology uses elements (water, earth, air, and fire), sign duality (bright/dark) and sign qualities (cardinal, mutable, and fixed) to describe and categorize these effects. It considers late December through early March as a “wet” time of year, and connects wetness with creativity, for example, Hamilton explained. “Fixed” signs are said to be more stubborn and persistent than others.

For his analysis, Hamilton looked at a data set of 300 celebrities from the fields of politics, science, public service, literature, the arts, and sports. He found that celebrities’ birth dates tended to cluster at certain times of the year. “Wet” signs were associated with more celebrities, as were signs classified as “bright” and “fixed.”

“Psychologists want to dismiss these astrological correlations, but there are seasonality effects that we have yet to explain,” he said.

He adds that he’s not arguing that heavenly bodies are the true source of these effects. Rather, he says, astrological signs are just tools that help people remember the timing and patterns of nature.

Hamilton is now working with other researchers on an analysis of 85,000 celebrities dating from 3,000 B.C.E to the present era. He says that the seasonality effect on celebrity appears to hold true even in this large data set stretching across millennia and cultures.

Source: University of Connecticut