The Correlation Between the Full Moon and Lunacy

by on Sep.10, 2011, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from Random Musings of Evil…and Lilies | Go to Original Post


Factor Fiction?

Psychiatrichospital admissions and crimes increase during full moons.








While many peoplebelieve this phenomenon to be true, there is no scientific proof that the fullmoon affects anyone in a negative manner. The idea that the full moon affectspeople has been used throughout history to explain away bad or strangebehavior. The very word lunatic is derived from the name of the Roman moongoddess, Luna. Greek and Roman philosophers “suggested that the brain was the “moistest”organ in the body, and thereby most susceptible to the pernicious influences ofthe moon” (Lilienfeld and Arkowitz, 2009, para 1). This has been provenincorrect for many reasons. One reason is the fact that the moon’sgravitational pull affects only open bodies of water, and another reason beingthat the moon’s gravitational pull is the same for new moon as it is for a fullmoon. The belief of the full moon’s influence continued during the Middle Ages. During that time it was known as the lunar lunacy effect or the Transylvaniaeffect.

One of the onlypossible explanations to the origin of this belief (urban legend) may be thatthe brightness of the full moon affected the sleep patterns of people whomainly lived outdoors. Lack of sleep affects people’s behavior especially thosewith preexisting psychological disorders, causing them to possibly act in abizarre or erratic manner (Lilienfeld et al, 2009).

 These beliefs are still alive and well in themodern world. However, the results of many studies to date have found nocorrelation between the full moon and the erratic behavior in humans. It seemsthe misconception may be related to the preconceived notions based on knowledgeof what is no more than an urban legend.

References

Lilienfeld, S.O., &Arkowitz, H. (2009, February 09). Lunacy and the Full Moon. Retrieved from http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=lunacy-and-the-full-moon

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