Happy Birthday!


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If you look in a newspaper you can find the Horoscope page telling you how your day is going to be and now that the weather is changing you will probably hear a statement, such as, "I'm a Summer baby I hate the cold". These statements about a person's birth are so common that nobody really gives any serious thought to it, but it would be very interesting to learn if one's time of birth really has a significant effect on a person. If there is an effect is it physical, mental, emotional, a combination of two, or all. I'm an Aquarius, and when I reviewed it's characteristics I agreed with a majority of them, however, I am also a winter baby who hates the cold. I predict that through my research I will find evidence that a people's birthdays do have a considerable effect on them. As infants we are not fully developed, thus making us very sensitive to the environment around us.

The Los Angeles Times  discovered several studies on this matter. A British scientist named David Phillips analyzed the weight of 1,750 British senior citizens and discovered that 13.8% of men born from January to March qualified as obese but only 9.4% those born from October to December qualified. He says "that exposure to low temperatures in early life might promote development of fatty tissue and predispose winter-borns to obesity in adulthood". This is intriguing but the percentages are too low to be persuasive.

 

A 2004 psychological questionnaire of 448 men and women ages twenty to forty-five born during the cold months (October to March) revealed that are more likely to be novelty seekers. The opposite resulted for participants over forty-five, which, to me showed a generational difference rather than genetic one, but upon further reading I learned that this behavior was vice versa for summer-borns, which suggests that people born in Winter are very adventurous in their younger years thus settling down faster because they experienced more excitement in a shorter amount time. According to  Lars-Göran Nilsson, a psychologist at Stockholm University in Sweden "Season of birth does influence temperament; we just don't know exactly why". He predicts that it is caused by the levels of serotonin and dopamine which are key brain chemicals involved in formation of personality. This makes sense but the effects of our brain chemicals are a factor in everyone's personality, so this prediction doesn't explain how the month and/or season have  a role. 

 

Business Insider states that a person's month of birth is an indicator of potential health problems someone will have. For example, people born in February (my birth month) are prone to sleep disorder narcolepsy. This is due to the fact that they prefer evening hours as a result of lack of sunlight exposure to sunlight in utero and in their first months of life.   

 

I didn't find any significant evidence that proves my hypothesis correct, however, there is a lot of highly considerable information. The studies mentioned in this blog are just a few articles on this subject, so it is definitely an important question. I believe that the effect that a person month and season of has is similar to how cigarettes cause lung cancer. No one knows the specific reason for causation but it certainly is a factor.

 

2 Comments

This blog post was interesting! I always wondered if being born in different seasons/months made a person more prone to illness or immune. I had always wondered if babies who were born in late march or in spring had more allergies because they were exposed to more pollen when they were just born and new to the environment. I found a website http://www.livescience.com/13958-birth-month-health-effects.html that gives several other illnesses such as anorexia, diabetes, leukemia, etc. to be linked to different months in which a child was born that I thought you may be interested in!

I feel like often constant horoscope readers suffer from the Barnum effect. One study followed 336 college students and analyzed horoscope "reading habits,the reliability and validity of daily and monthly horoscope forecasts and astrologically based personality descriptions, and the effects of knowing the zodiac sign on the perception of the usefulness of horoscope forecasts and on the accuracy of astrologically based personality descriptions." The study proved that daily and monthly forecasts were shown to be unreliable and invalid. However, astrologically based personality descriptions were found to have some reliability, but knowledge of zodiac sign was found to affect ratings of horoscope usefulness and accuracy of astrologically based personality descriptions.
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00223980.1983.9915405#.UqFglMRDvXs

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