The term “lunatic” is no accident. Throughout time, many people have believed that the lunar cycle affects human behavior.
Some say it’s a pseudoscience, but police officers, nurses, and teachers would disagree. We can tell if it’s the full moon without ever looking outside!
If the full moon happens during the school week, I know life will become difficult. I expect chatty students, social melodrama, and random eruptions of puppy-type wrestling among the boys. I also know to expect the unexpected—strange changes in group dynamics, naughty behavior from formerly angelic students, rough times for special-needs students, etc. Referrals to the principal go up during the full moon, as does the noise level in the cafeteria.
Everything seems to calm down during the waning moon.
For your reading pleasure, here is some Internet research (with all that implies) about the full moon’s impact on behavior:
In eighteenth-century England, a murderer could plead “lunacy” if the crime was committed during the full moon.
A University of New Orleans study found that 81% of mental health professionals believe that lunar cycles affect human behavior?
A July 2007 study by the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association found that full moon emergency room visits for pets were increased compared to the rest of the month, to the tune of 23% higher for cats and 28% higher for dogs.
Psychologist Arnold Lieber of the University of Miami wrote two books about his theory that the full moon affects human behavior.
Far more research suggests no link between the full moon and accidents, crimes, and injuries. Some say that nurses, teachers and cops believe in the correlation because superstitions arise in jobs where you feel you don’t have control over the situation. They also suggest that the full\ moon theories are simply part of the culture in certain professions.
The full moon theory is definitely part of the culture of teaching. Most teachers can tell you some hair-raising stories about the full moon!
Click here for an interesting article about the full moon from ABC News.