The Crazy’s Come Out During a Full Moon
A common saying is that crazy people come out during a full moon, meaning that there are wild times on a night with a visible full moon. Crimes occur, upstanding citizens do stupid things, and people who usually would stay at home venture out.
Years ago, I discussed this connection with my wife, who told me about working in the emergency room. She confirmed that they received more calls and stupid injuries during a full moon. This discussion got me thinking about the science behind the correlation. What is going on in people’s minds? Is there a biological element? Is the media responsible? Has this activity occurred for more than a thousand years? What types of people are most susceptible? Can we stop this trait?
I wanted to learn more about the topic and fired up the search engine. The internet immediately rewarded me with a famous study. There is no correlation. What? That’s strange. I searched for more studies and found another popular paper. There indeed was a strong correlation. What was going on? How can there be two completely different conclusions?
I searched more and found a well-researched paper by a credible university analyzing ten papers. They concluded that there was no correlation. Plus, they showed that the disagreeing papers had apparent flaws. Ahh, that explains it.
Then, I located another paper by a credible university that analyzed 20 papers. There was a direct correlation, and they showed all the flaws in the disagreeing papers.
I learned there are hundreds of studies on the topic and no solid census. This correlation seems straightforward to prove and understand the mental mechanism. What is going on? I guess that humans are complex, and it is difficult to prove an aspect of human behavior, diet, psychosis, stereotype, discrimination, or trait. We see similar conflicting studies answering the question about coffee/eggs/bacon/avocados being good or bad.
Perhaps the full moon’s biggest effect is providing starving college students with grant money for useless studies. A quick search located several full moon studies:

The general opinion is the correlation is anecdotal. Meaning the relationship is in people’s minds and not real life. For this article, I spoke to my wife again, who affirmed that crazy people came to the emergency room more often on full moons. In addition, they seemed more spaced out, talked crazy, and were more violent. I trust my wife’s opinion, but I understand the general scientific opinion disagrees.
What should I do? Stand by my wife and turn my back on science? Accept that several studies are right and my wife is wrong? Drink 10 gallons of coffee, eat 100 bacon-avocado omelets, and see what happens? Become a hermit and ignore everything? Life has its mysteries, and this is one of them. That is not a brilliant answer, but it is an answer.

You’re the best -Bill
November 15, 2023
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