Lunar Effect

Does a full moon really cause more births, accidents and . . . ?


Because the world is flat the full moon can . . . (hang on!!! did they just say the world is flat?) Oh, apologies. At one time almost everyone sincerely believed they were experiencing a flat world. We therefore know it is possible for the majority of society to be wrong. A flat world is just one example of many people sincerely believing something but being sincerely wrong! 
It seems most people believe the full moon has an effect on baby births, crime, accidents, mental illness, suicide and much, much more.
Many credible people insist they have experienced this lunar effect first hand in their field of work, including midwives, police, doctors, teachers etc.
If you listen to the testimonies or reports in the media, it is almost always a statement of a professional’s experience of the full moon effect without any statistical data as proof.  So, while it is a statement about statistics it’s usually without any simple statistical evidence that would finally silence the sceptics.  While we know science can not prove there is any reason for there to be a lunar effect, which  only proves it ‘may’ not exist, not that it doesn’t. Statistics, on the other hand, can be easily compiled to prove or disprove the effect. Count how many child births on each day over a year or more, then match it up with the lunar cycle – is there a pattern? Count how many emergency cases on each day over a year or more, then match it up with the lunar cycle – is there a pattern? Count how many reported crimes on each day over a year or more, then match it up with the lunar cycle – is there a pattern? etc etc. It’s a simple counting exercise but the majority who make claims of the full moon effect have never done this simple exercise. These people almost always say they have experienced it, they work there, all their colleagues will back them up, no one can explain why or show evidence and you could only know if you worked there too.
Supposedly, many studies have been conducted to try and back up these claims of a connection between the full moon and these events and almost all come up proving no full moon peak.

How can 'everyone' be wrong?
If there is no effect. How on this round earth is it possible for so many people to experience it?
There are several reasons that lead people to believing, and insisting, there is a relation between the moons phase and events:
  1. Firstly, the biggest reason people believe, and sware they have seen/experienced the Lunar Effect, is due to an effect called ‘cognitive biases’. Cognitive bias is a psychological phenomenon where people notice and remember evidence that supports what they believe (like an event happening on a full moon) and ignore or miss all times that go against what they believe.
    Here's an example: a police officer has a busy night and notices the full moon. He concludes the full moon is the reason for the busy night, just as he's heard others say in tha past. A month later the full moon goes past unnoticed as it was not a busy night – so no balance is adde to his belief. Some six days later, another busy night occurs. The officer thinks it must be a full moon but does not look it up, where he would have seen it was not – and so has just mistakenly added to his full moon theory. Another month later is a busy night and he thinks must be a full moon. He does notice it is not this time but puts it down to a coincidence and forgets about it. Five months down the track, and many differing busy nights and full moons later, he again notices a busy night on a full moon night, and thinks “you see, it is always busy on a full moon night.” Several months passed, two busy nights were on full moons, many busy nights were not on full moons and many full moons did not have busy nights – yet the police officer would pass a lie detector test in his sincere belief that a full moon causes busy nights .
    The same concept is played out in the superstition ‘bad things come in threes', or where you call out ‘touch wood’ – it is all about noticing something you are looking for (until your mind is put at ease in these versions). It's also the same as 'the weather people always get the weather wrong' - no they don't, you just notice it when it rains on a predicted sunny day and you have no umbrella.
    Also, when you buy a new car and then notice all the other cars around just like yours, but you didn’t notice before hand. It does not mean everyone went and bought the car after you – you are now just noticing them because you are looking for them
  2. There is usually a plausible theory that makes people think it’s not mystical, but logical, and true. For example, the moon effects the tides, therefore, as we have water in our brain, the full moon 'must' pull on the water in our brain and create a pressure which affects people differently. It seems plausible, so people accept that their experience, (mentioned in point one), is scientifically explainable.
  3. Family and friends, doctors, police officers, movies, television and radio – all take part in claiming they have witnessed the lunar effect. These people we love and/or trust and we know they are sincere, experienced and would not lie to us, who are we to argue – so the snowball effect of the myth continues.
  4. Every so often a study will come up with evidence. However every study has to have one high point in the study. Due to the randomness of the results, one in 28 will have their random peak on the full moon time, which is every 28 days.

If you disagree and sware the Lunar Effect is real, ask yourself if you have actually seen the figures. We challenge you to go and collect the long term (at least a year’s worth) of evidence and share it, there is no point in saying "you just know" (go and re-read point one!!). We think you will more likely be surprised yourself than we will. But don’t worry, it’s not your fault, It was just never explained this way to the people that taught you this myth. Now you can correct them.