Do People Really Act Strangely When There is A Full Moon?

The full moon stories are and will be a great source for numerous traditional beliefs. In the mankind history, the moon created many myths – from the werewolves to epilepsy attacks. When unusual events occur, it’s highly possible that you will hear it’s the full moon causing it. This statement is said even by the law enforcements, doctors and psychiatrists. The question remains. Is it myth or reality?

Many scientists studied the animal behaviour during the full moon nights. The metabolism accelerates and the level of aggressivity rises, while the sexual activity is way more intense. Also, plants seem to grow faster. There are voices that say that the gravitational force of the moon modifies the gravitational effects over glands and organs of the human body.

On the other hand, we are being told that these facts are not true and that the most plausible interpretation of this traditional belief is actually a psychological phenomena called “confirmation pretext”, which makes people remember and take into consideration only the cases that confirms our beliefs, neglecting the one that infirm them. In combination with a selective thinking of common sense, the circle closes and the myth will endure among people. In other words, the full moon will only affect the ones that believe in its forces.

It is well known that the moon and the sun create the tides in the oceans of Earth, but this are events at a large scale. Because our bodies are made of 75% water, a lot of people asked themselves if this effect of the moon influences our bodies as well. The researchers believe that this is not possible. Even in a big lake, the moon effect is nearly imperceptible. We need to take into consideration the fact that tides take place two times a day, while Earth rotates around its axis in the 24 hours. If the appearance and disappearance of the moon would affect the human body, it would mean that we would lose balance at least twice every day.

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In 2007, Andy Parr, a British policeman from Sussex, asked his superiors for special backups while he was patrolling during the full moon nights. He was claiming that it’s when the violent events increase signitificantly. Mr. Parr is not the first man who made such a statement about the connection between crimes and full moon. 30 years before him, Arnold Lieber, an American psychologist and author of a study which analyzed over 11.000 aggressions recorded in Florida for a 5 years period had the same idea. According to the psychologist, the majority of them took place during full moon nights.

In reality, the researches on this topic are very contradictory. To any “positive “study corresponds another one that denies it. They don’t really convince the scientific community. More exactly, they didn’t convince Ivan Kelly, James Rotton and Roger Culver, three researchers that examined over 100 studies on this topic in 1996. They found many statistical errors and concluded that there is no increase in the criminal rate during full moon nights.

If there is no clear evidence of a certain influence of the moon over ourselves, why do we still believe in myths? An explanation of this and how we perceive the full moon is based on the associations we make in that period. During full moon, we have the tendency to connect all kind of strange phenomena’s to the moon, while during the other periods of the month we don’t make such connections.

In conclusion, what we consider to be the influence of the full moon is only a tendency of the man to look for mystically explanations.

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