Jun 12, 2014 10:06 PM by Dave Fields
"Should we expect the behavior of the people around us to be in rare form tomorrow?"
That is a question being asked by many on the eve of what surely is statistical oddity--a Friday the 13th full moon.
With roughly a dozen full moons and a dozen 13ths on the yearly calendar and also seven days per week, the rarity of a Friday the 13th full moon occurs nearly six times per century.
The Friday the 13th full moon is such a rarity that those of us who are still around won't see one again until August 13, 2049.
Teachers, police, parents, healthcare workers--and, of course, astrologists--have suggested over the years--sometimes in jest--that the behavior and mood of children, criminals, and people in general perhaps are affected by the alignment of the moon and stars.
It is common perception that there is no evidence to support this contention, but a Washington University faculty report compiles data that does statistically attempt to connect lunar cycles to human behavior. What sometimes is referred to as "The Lunar Effect" or "The Transylvania Effect" is put to the test as university researchers crunch the data.
Even TV3 Chief Meteorologist Rob Perillo acknowledges the folklore surrounding the effects of the full moon, noting that there is a common perception among those who theorize that some people actually experience "frisky behavior" during periods of increased gravitational pull of the full-moon phases.
According to the data compiled in the Washington report, faculty researchers explore such long-standing and widespread belief--in existence throughout Europe since the Middle Ages--that "the full moon causes mental disorders and strange behavior" and are quick to point out that the word "lunacy" actually means "insanity" and is derived from the word "moon." Their research explores popular legend that "the full moon brings out the worst in people: more violence, more suicides, more accidents, more aggression."
The data is staggeringly one-sided.
The studies cited by researchers examined whether or not the numbers corresponding to lunar phases correlated in any manner with numbers associated with human behavior. Researchers cautiously reminded their readers that such a statistical correlation would not necessarily be an indication of "causation" between one event and the other. It would only suggest, they said, a "relationship exists" between the two events.
Although researchers referred to a 1976 J. Psychology study that examined 34,318 crimes during a single year and discovered that "crimes occurred more frequently during the full moon," the majority of the findings seemed to indicate an absence of a connection between the moon and the way people behave. This compilation of findings by Washington faculty reflect an examination of the Lunar Effect on an array of human behaviors in an extensive list of settings, particularly the moon's effect on the following:
psychiatric emergency room visits
suicide prevention calls
crisis intervention calls
telephone counseling calls
panic and suicidal ideation
poison center calls
trauma victim hospital admissions
total ER patient volume
acute myocardial infarctions
sudden cardiac death
ICU patient mortality
oral and maxillofacial emergencies
postoperative outcome of surgical patients
general practice consultations
bladder cancer patients
intraoperative blood loss
frequency of births
birth mortality outcomes
birth gender outcomes
animal emergency visits
The research, with few exceptions, held that there was no correlation between lunar cycles and human behavior, but explain that to the skeptics who still hold steadfast to their age-old theories validating the Lunar Effect. The research may speak for itself and may be accessed by clicking here.
Those who are eager to put their own lunar theories to the test may consult a complete list of each of the 2014 full moons (named accordingly) provided by Farmers' Almanac below:
Full Moon Calendar 2014
January 15th Full Wolf Moon 11:52 pm
February 14th Full Snow Moon 6:53 pm
March 16th Full Worm Moon 1:08 pm
April 15th Full Pink Moon 3:42 am
May 14th Full Flower Moon 3:16 pm
June 13th Full Strawberry Moon 12:11 am
July 12th Full Buck Moon 7:25 am
August 10th Full Sturgeon Moon 2:09 pm
September 8th Full Harvest Moon 9:38 pm
October 8th Full Hunter's Moon 6:51 am
November 6th Full Beaver Moon 5:23 pm
December 6th Full Cold Moon 7:27 am
So, during tomorrow's Strawberry Moon, will the freaks come out in us?
Guess we'll have to find out.