Retrograde Mercury: what astronomers, astrophysicists and psychologists say about it

Retrograde Mercury: what astronomers, astrophysicists and psychologists say about it

The movement of the planets influences behavior, if you believe in such an influence

On April 1, the retrograde movement of Mercury began - for an observer from Earth, the planet began to move in the opposite direction. The influence of this phenomenon on people is talked about so often that the phrase “retrograde Mercury” is one of the first to come to mind when talking about astrology.

Mercury's retrograde period will continue until April 25, the next time it will go retrograde in August. It can be noted that Mercury itself moves in its orbit as usual, and the Earth sometimes “catch up” with it due to the relative position of the orbits of the two planets.

Astrologers say that Mercury retrograde affects a person's behavior, as well as his business relationships, career and transport management. This list may vary, since each astrologer comes up with it himself, and it has no scientific basis.

The main mechanism that makes it possible to “make sure” that Mercury retrograde has an effect on people has nothing to do with astrophysics, but with psychology. It's about "prejudice bias." People who are initially inclined to believe astrologers will pay attention to the facts that confirm the words of pseudoscientists, and ignore the rest.

For example, if someone heard from an astrologer that Mercury retrograde makes him be more reckless, he will notice impulsive actions in himself for 25 days and become convinced of the words of the pseudoscientist. If the same person were told that Mercury retrograde would make him more indecisive, he would find himself in moments of doubt, and remain convinced that because of Mercury retrograde he spent the entire month of April indecisive.

Even more effective are vague predictions that Mercury retrograde will cause causeless anxiety and irritability. This kind of news in itself will make people who believe in astrologers feel uncomfortable, so that their anxiety will actually be caused by this.

The only cosmic object besides the Sun whose influence on human behavior has some scientific basis is the Moon. Quite a long time ago, the influence of lunar cycles on the life activity of some marine organisms at the molecular and genetic level was proven. And in 2013, Swiss experts from the University of Basel came to the conclusion that during a full moon it can be more difficult for a person to fall asleep, even if he does not see the Moon itself, that is, this cannot be attributed to bright light and is quite difficult - to self-hypnosis.

March 20 was celebrated unofficial astrology day.

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