Suck it, Astrology.

The OK Cupid data-mining blog is pretty entertaining.

Here are the grouped match percentages for a random pool of 500,000 users. Astrological sign has no effect whatsoever on how compatible two people are.

We're showing you this table, as dull as it is, because the uniformity neatly illustrates how beefy our data set is. There are 144 pools considered above, and they all match the mean plus or minus 0.5%.


62 Responses:

  1. dr_pipe says:

    Those Aquarius-Aquarius matches better give up!

  2. broken_alice says:

    So how did you know I'm an Aquarius with an Aquarius?

    8 years and counting. Longer than some marriages so I guess it isn't all that bad.

  3. merovingian says:

    The stuff about race is also really interesting.

  4. chuck_lw says:

    This only proves that we originate from another world, and we should be using a whole different set of astrological charts ... or something.

    • merovingian says:

      I think it shows that we need to revise our existing astrology charts so all of them are identical.

      "Aries through Pisces (Jan 1-December 31). You require food, water, air, and Earth-like temperatures. You have a desire for human companionship, especially with like-minded people you respect, but some people annoy or anger you. Your moods can include sadness, anger, disgust, fear, interest, surprise, and happiness. Fire and heights are both exciting and frightening to you. You have a 60% compatibility with others of the same sign range."

  5. gfish says:

    Entertaining... and deeply depressing, once they start analyzing race.

  6. anaisdjuna says:

    Annnnd. OKCupid is the ultimate authority on compatibility?

    Astrology - as anyone who knows anything about it would know - is a lot more complex than sun sign.

    Data Analysis Fail all around.

    • beerfrick says:

      there is stuff to know about astrology? o_O

      • shandrew says:

        Researchers have found correlation between birth month and elite soccer playing (the ones born in earlier months tend to be at the top end of age cut-offs for youth leagues, so the theory is the slight age advantage helps), therefore there would be a similar correlation between zodiac sign and elite soccer playing:

        Now, if elite soccer players do better on okcupid than the average joe, maybe the results would have been different!

    • dr_memory says:

      You of course are about to link to a better dataset that rigorously proves something different? Right? Any moment now? How about now?

      • anaisdjuna says:

        No. I'm not looking to start a co-dependent relationship. I simply made a one off comment.

        • dr_memory says:

          "I simply made a jack-off comment."

          There, fixed that for you.

          Look, if you'd said "this is silly, astrology isn't about dating probability, it's about a framework for understanding your own personality and your place in the universe via these archetypes and mythologies", I would have passed on, maybe even nodded. I mean, it's flim-flam like all religions, but at least you would have been defending it as a religion, in the contexts in which religions are allegedly useful.

          But no, you took issue with their methodology. You puffed yourself up and made a public claim that the concepts of "astrology" and "data analysis" belong within football fields of each other, nevermind in the same sentence. So fucking put up or shut up. If their data is bad, show us how or show us better.

          • anaisdjuna says:

            So fucking put up or shut up.

            Get over yourself, dorkazoid. I'm not your bitch to order around.

            • dr_memory says:

              Oh dear god.

              Look, here's how sarcasm works: I think you're being an idiot. Therefore I "order" you to do something which would prove you not to be an idiot if you could actually do it, which you cannot. I do this with complete confidence that you will not follow my "order", since I am "demanding" that you do the impossible. I am, therefore, insulting you, but without making any pretense of having personal authority over you.

              If any other expressions of sarcasm on this or any other blog are confusing you, please do not hesitate to ask for my help. I am at your service.

              By the by, astrology is bunk. Thank you, and have a nice day.

            • lafinjack says:

              It's your claim. You put up or shut up.

              • pavel_lishin says:

                Excellent userpic to go along with excellent statement.

              • strspn says:

                Perhaps astrology is a viable meme because it selects against the over-analytical, and I include myself in the set of people who are possibly over-analytical in this sense. Perhaps the way the over-analytical can turn friendly debates into nasty arguments isn't conducive to survival of the species, and putting faith in astrological events gave people better chances to hook up than those who believed they would burn in hell.

                If we all drew our ethics from something neutral and geometric like, that time becomes the fifth dimension when we die, and we become the sum of our actions, then maybe people would be less likely to be afraid of science as a basis for ethics. But, I'm sure it's the best basis.

        • spendocrat says:

          For both claims, the zeal with which you argue with nerds on the Internet says otherwise!

      • pyrop says:

        You're missing the point. If you're doing astrology and it doesn't give you a positive result, you must be doing it wrong.

        If astrology was falsifiable, people wouldn't believe in it, would they?

    • jwz says:

      Wow, you're questioning their statistical methodology in the same breath as telling me how complex astrology is. That is a shocking level of mental gymnastics! Good job!

      • anaisdjuna says:

        You know. You post (usually) interesting stuff, but interpersonally you really are an ass.

        • jwz says:

          It's not my fault, venus is in retrograde.

          • anaisdjuna says:

            That's actually half way funny. Sexist, but halfway funny.

            • mysterc says:

              No. That is 100% funny. See its based on statistics. I asked a sample of 15 people if they thought it was funny. 14 said yes. After consulting my sun chart, taking into account the celestial rotation and the gravitational pull of sirius, I discounted the one who disagreed(he was a gemini, they tend to be duplicitous). Which left me with a final statistical sample of 14(which is plenty for the internet). Besides I am a taurus, so I know about these things.

          • If this were Reddit, I'd upvote that comment.

    • vordark says:

      Astrology - as anyone who knows anything about it would know - is a lot more complex than sun sign.

      Yes, it is very complex. I have no fewer than a dozen books on Astrology sitting among my shelves.

      It is also bullshit, unless you count whatever value it may have in keeping some crazies from climbing clock towers because they are too busy figuring which nodal system to use.

      • spider88 says:

        Yeah...that's what I decided after reading my dozen books on the topic, too. :/ Then I realized I was really good at calculation, memorization, and analysis, and went back to school to be a biochemist.

        By the way, most of clinical psychology and sociology is complex bullshit, as well.

        • vordark says:

          By the way, most of clinical psychology and sociology is complex bullshit, as well.

          You should go back to school if you think this, because you either missed something the first time around or went to a shitty school.

          Let me guess, you're one of those "tolerance academics" that thinks reason and religion are both equally nice and we should love each other a big huggy bunch no matter how delusional?

    • 33mhz says:

      Do you know how OK Cupid actually works?

      People submit questions into a large pool, and people answer (or decline to answer) questions as much as they like. People with similar answers are rated as more compatible.

      Even if this is not a good metric of actual compatibility, (similar personalities don't always get along) each sun sign's answers match each other at an equal rate.

      If the sun sign is no predictor of how similar your personality will be to anyone else's, including people who share the same sign, why do even people/organizations who do full charts with planets in houses and conjuncts and all that always include a couple of paragraphs on the sun sign's essential characteristics?

      • parkrrrr says:

        That description's not entirely accurate. If you do it right (and not everyone does, but that's a reading comprehension failure) then you both answer the question for yourself and tell OKCupid how your ideal match would answer and how important it is that they answer that way. What OKCupid calls a "match" percentage is then derived by matching your answers for yourself against the other person's desired answers for their partner, and vice-versa, weighted by the importance you each assigned to the question. The math of match percentage is explained in their FAAAQ.

        Simple comparison of your answers for yourself against the other person's answers for themselves, as you described, seems to result in what OKCupid calls the "friend" percentage.

    • 7ghent says:

      Let me get this straight- according to astrology, sun sign does have *some* effect on personality, right? For example, if you got say 3,472 Libras together and got them to answer hundred of questions about their personalities and preferences, you would expect to find some common responses and attitudes, right? I mean, they wouldn't be all exactly the same, obviously, but they should be more similar than say a similar sized group of Aquariuses? Is that correct?

  7. latemodel says:

    I love that they use this as their standard.

  8. pt says:

    The data from the blog that I prefer is the one that shows that morons don't get replied to. And by morons, I mean people that use netspeak

    Scientific proof:

    • anaisdjuna says:

      Guess I'm not too moronic for you to reply.

      Snicker Out Loud

    • merovingian says:

      Wait, wait. How is "hit" netspeak?

      I mean, I can understand why someone is unlikely to get a reply if they use the word "hit" when sending an initial email, since hitting stops being a good kind of flirting around the 1st grade...

      ...but I'm pretty sure "hit" is a very valid word, unless my education up to this point has been wildly deceptive.

      Should I inform the OED about this?

      • 7ghent says:

        I'm 99 percent sure "hit" is in there because people send messages with "hit me back," which is really more "urban" slang than netspeak.

      • HIT is netspeak for "human intelligence task." OKcupid has provided a compelling argument that online dating is the wrong venue in which to try to get people to solve captchas for you.

    • lionsphil says:

      "Also, don't ask for or give away a cell number (10%). I thought that was a no-brainer. For the brainless among you who are doing this, my best advice is to paypal me 25 dollars and never use a computer again."

      I like this guy.

  9. It might, however, explain why your application still isn't in Palm's catalog.

  10. cyeh says:

    I would love to see this chart done again, except substituting the Chinese astrology for western astrology, just as a comparison.

    • skington says:

      If OKCupid asked all of their users for their Chinese astrology sign when signing up, and as a result had that to correlate against all of their users' experiences over time, that might be a plausible suggestion.

      • OkCupid has ages and birthdays, which you could use to get the person's annual zodiac sign. There's obviously more than that to Chinese astrology, but the zodiac sign is used to make falsifiable predictions about personality (the same way that Western sun signs are), so it would be a pretty reasonable thing to test.

      • giantlaser says:

        Chinese astrology, like western, has an "annual sign", but it is really a matter of an animal sign plus an element sign making up a 60-year cycle.

        Basically, the same analysis could be drawn from simply comparing people of different birth years, over 12-year and 60-year spans.

        Chinese astrology is really just a polite way to ask someone how old they are.

  11. cyeh says:

    I would love to see this chart done again, except substituting the Chinese astrology for western astrology, just as a comparison.