Journal article Open Access

When the Full Moon rises over the Sunshine State: A Quantitative Evaluation of Queensland Police Calls

Sheldon, Geoff; Prunckun, Henry

Editor(s)
Jaishankar, K

Police officers are amongst the strongest believers in the lunar hypothesis—the belief that the full moon affects human behaviour, yet most research fails to support this proposition. This paper examined eight years of calls for service data from a large metropolitan policing district in Brisbane, Australia. Between 2004 and 2011 data from more than 908,000 service calls were examined to determine if police received more requests for service during the full moon. The study found no support for the lunar hypothesis. It concluded that there was no statistically significant relationship between calls for service and the full moon.

Files (253.7 kB)
Name Size
Sheldon& Prunckunijcjs2017vol12issu1.pdf md5:14f75a4064114d5eacdf391ba7057102 253.7 kB Download
  • Alonso, Y. (1993). Geophysical Variables and Behavior: LXXII. Barometric Pressure, Lunar Cycle, and Traffic Accidents. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 77(2), 371–376. Barr, W. (2000). Lunacy Revisited. The Influence of the Moon on Mental Health and Quality of Life. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 38(5), 28. Bickis, M., Kelly, I.W., & Byrnes, G. F. (1995). Crisis Calls and Temporal and Lunar Variables: A Comprehensive Examination. The Journal of Psychology, 129(6), 701–711. Calver, L. A., Stokes, B. J., & Isbister, G. K. (2009). The Dark Side of the Moon. Medical Journal of Australia, 191(11/12), 692–694. Campbell, D. E., & Beets, J. L. (1978). Lunacy and the Moon. Psychological Bulletin, 85(5), 1, 123–1,129. Cohn, E. G., & Rotton, J. (2000). Weather, Seasonal Trends and Property Crimes in Minneapolis, 1987–1988: A Moderator-Variable Time-Series Analysis of Routine Activities. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 20(3), 257–272. Cohen-Mansfield, J., Marx, M. S., & Werna, P. (1989). Full Moon: Does It Influence Agitated Nursing Home Residents? Journal of Clinical Psychology, 45(4), 611–614. Cooke, D. J., & Coles, E. M. (1978). The Concept of Lunacy: A Review. Psychological Reports, 42, 891–897. Crowe, R. A., & Miura, C. K. (1995). Challenging Pseudoscientific Beliefs: Surveying Evidence for Exotic Claims. Psychological Reports, 77(3f), 1, 263–1,282. DeVoge, S. D., & Mikawa, J. K. (1977). Moon Phases and Crisis Calls: A Spurious Relationship. Psychological Reports, 40, 387–390. Fogarty, J. (1969). Bad Moon Rising. In Green River Album. San Fansico, CA: Fantasy Records. Forbes, G. B., & Lebo, G. R. (1977). Antisocial Behavior and Lunar Activity: A Failure to Validate the Lunacy Myth. Psychological Reports, 40(3c), 1, 309–1,310. Freilich, H. (1965). Variations in Census of Emergency-Room Patients. Hospital Topics, 43(5), 45–47. Gorvin, J. J. & Roberts, M. S. (1994). Lunar Phases and Psychiatric Hospital Admissions. Psychological Reports, 75(1), 435–1,440. Gutierrez-Garcia, J. M., & Tusell, F. (1997). Suicides and the Lunar Cycle. Psychological Reports, 80(1), 243–250. Hoctor, M. (2009). Madness Rules Under Glare of the Full Moon. Illawarra Mercury, Dec. 5: 56. Iosif, A., & Ballon, B. (2005). Bad Moon Rising: The Persistent Belief in Lunar Connections to Madness. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 173(12), 1, 498. Jackson, M. (1978). Blame it on the Boogie. Destiny Album. New York: Atlantic Records. Kung, S., & Mrazek, D. A. (2005). Psychiatric Emergency Department Visits on Full Moon Nights. Psychiatric Services, 56, 221–222. Kuss, O., & Kuehn, A. (2008). Lunar Cycle and the Number of Births: A Spectral Analysis of 4,071,669 Births from South Western Germany. Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 87(12), 1, 378–1,379. Kruszelnicki, K. S. (2012). Can a Full Moon Affect Behaviour? ABC Science. Retrieved from http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2012/03/27/3464601.htm. Lieber, A. L., & Sherin, C. R. (1972). Homicides and the Lunar Cycle: Toward a Theory of Lunar Influence on Human Emotional Disturbance. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 129(1), 69–74. Mathew, V. M., Lindesay, J., Shanmuganathan, N., & Eapen, V. (1991). Attempted Suicide and the Lunar Cycle, Psychological Reports, 68, 927–930. Owen, C., Tarantello, C., Jones, M., & Tennant, C. (1998). Lunar Cycles and Violent Behaviour. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 32(4), 496–499. Purpura, P. P. (1979). Police Activity and the Full Moon. Journal of Police Science and Administration, 7, 350–353. Raison, C. L., Klein, H. M., & Steckler, M. (1999). The Moon and Madness Reconsidered. Journal of Affective Disorders, 53(1), 99–106. Rotton, J., & Kelly, I. W. (1985). Much ado about the Full Moon: A Meta-Analysis of Lunar-Lunacy Research. Psychological Bulletin, 97(2), 286. Schafer, J. A., Varano, S. P., Jarvis, J. P., & Cancino, J. M. (2010). Bad Moon on the Rise? Lunar Cycles and Incidents of Crime. Journal of Criminal Justice, 38, 359–367. Simon, A. (1998). Aggression in a Prison Setting as a Function of Lunar Phases. Psychological Reports, 82(3), 747–752. Snoyman, P., & Holdstock, T. L. (1980). The Influence of the Sun, Moon, Climate and Economic Conditions on Crisis Incidence. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 36(4), 884–893. Stolzenberg, L., D'Alessio, S. J., & Flexon, J. L. (2017). A Hunter's Moon: The Effect of Moon Illumination on Outdoor Crime. American Journal of Criminal Justice, 42(1), 188–197. Sugama, N., Park, J. G., Park, Y. J., Takeuchi, Y., Kim, S. J., & Takemura, A. (2008). Moonlight Affects Nocturnal Period 2 Transcript Levels in the Pineal Gland of the Reef Fish, Siganus Guttatus. Journal of Pineal Research, 45(2), 133–141. Tasso, J., & Miller, E. (1976). The Effects of the Full Moon on Human Behavior. Journal of Psychology, 93(1), 81–83. Taylor, L. J., & Diespecker, D. D. (1972). Moon Phases and Suicide Attempts in Australia. Psychological Reports, 31, 110. Templer, D. I., Brooner, R. K., & Corgiat, M. D. (1983). Geophysical Variables and Behavior: XIV. Lunar Phase and Crime: Fact or Artifact. Journal of Perceptual and Motor Skills, 57(3), 993–994. Thakur, C. P., & Sharma, D. (1984). Full Moon and Crime. British Medical Journal, 289(6), 460, 1,789–1,791. Thakur, C. P., Sharma R.N., Akhtar, H. S. (1980). Full Moon and Poisoning. British Medical Journal, 281(6), 256, 1,684. Vance, D. E. (1995). Belief in Lunar Effects on Human Behavior. Psychological Reports, 76(1), 32–34.

Share

Cite as