July 12, 2010
Does crime go up during a full moon?
It’s a long-held belief that the phases of the moon affect people’s behaviors. That’s why it’s significant that a new study demonstrates that crime and violence do not go up during a full moon.
According to USA Today‘s Dan Vergano, a research team studied the crime data of San Antonio, Texas, from 2001 to 2005, and published their results in the Journal of Criminal Justice:
The team crunched nightly crime data, noting rain, daylight, indoor vs. outdoor locations and other environmental effects unaccounted for in past efforts. Murder happens too rarely in San Antonio to give a statistical signal, so the team looked at assaults, burglary, theft, drugs and vice crimes, traffic crimes, and “other disturbances,” totaling about 130,000 incidents a year.
So, did the full moon turn San Antonions (is that what they’re called?) into criminals? No. Instead “weekends and warm weather” were linked to crime. Of course, that doesn’t automatically mean that full moons don’t affect human behavior. After all, any deeply entrenched belief can change how we act and perceive events. However, we can say there appears to be no statistically evident cause and effect — at least in San Antonio.
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