Author Topic: Lunacy and the Full Moon  (Read 197 times)

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Offline PPI Brian

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Two psychology professors argue that the reported connection is urban legend. There is no evidence for the lunar lunacy effect, they say. But just because they can't explain it, does that mean the effect doesn't exist?

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=lunacy-and-the-full-moon
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."--Carl Sagan

Offline PPI Tim

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What lunatic wrote this article? ;D
Actually, this is a good article. BUT
As a person who works with the public, people seem to be more difficult when the moon is at certain phases. Full, new and quarter moons. I think it is suggestive.
"It's a full moon tonight."
"Lets go down to the library and pitch a fit when Tim tells you that you have a fine of...10 cents."
Sounds interesting...Go on.

Offline PPI Tracy

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Well, whether people believe it or not, I have absolutley observed that when it is a full moon, people's driving habits do change.

On average, I drive about 450 miles per week and I see how totally reckless people tend to get when the moon is full.  Maybe it's that stash of vodka I keep in my glove box, but I swear people get nuttier during that time.   :-\


okay...that was a bad and totally uncalled for piece of humor. ashamed, i am.  can't face anyone now. hanging head low.

Offline Brenna

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The myth probably began because full moon nights are very bright. If you were a burglar/rapist/up-to-no-goodnik what night of the month would you pick for your crimes? Because, I'd pick the night I could see clearly.
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Offline PPI Jason

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I haven't noticed any huge pattern, but there is also logic to the argument that bad guys would probably pick "new moon nights" to commit crimes since they often prefer to not be seen (this ties into the whole logic of commiting crimes at night in the first place. It's dark and people are sleeping). In SWAT, if we get a choice, we try to plan our operations on darker nights for tactical reasons. But crazy folk, in theory, shouldn't have any preference. That is why it would be interesting if there were greater incidents of "lunacy" on full moon nights since there wouldn't be any intrinsic benefit to a full moon night over a new moon night (like in commiting crimes or conducting tactical operations).

But there were a few things I don't think this article touched. For example, full moons are cyclical in nature. We as humans are also very cyclical. Our months closely resemble the lunar cycle (and they did so exactly in many older societies and continue to do so in a few modern ones). Menstrual cycles resemble the lunar cycle. We are very anniversary oriented people psychologically and tend to organize our lives in cycles. I wonder if some of the psychological correlations to full moons are more related to their reoccurance rather than their gravitational relevance.

I don't buy into the "Early humans sleeping outside couldn't sleep during a full moon because it was so bright" theory. I've slept outside under a full moon and personally found that I sleep just as well (actually just as poorly) on a full moon night as any other. I'm sure early humans were clever enough to invent blindfolds or realize they should sleep under a tree or something  :P.
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