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It is a common belief that more crime is committed during a full moon.

I rationalised this by assuming criminals used the increased moon light to aid them in their criminal activities with out really thinking about it.

Are there any studies that show this link? Is there any link between phases of the moon and crime?

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Indeed, but try and make some dumb cop believe this and he'll ignore you. "I know what I know, you ignorant civilian." is his battle cry. Explain the concept of observational bias and you'll get the same, and again when you point out that all those reports he complains about filing are where the data comes from. –  user685 Mar 17 '11 at 21:00
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I believe it's been shown that most crimes are committed within a week of either the full or new moon! –  Khanzor Mar 17 '11 at 21:30
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Wouldn't increased moon light not be counter-productive? After all if people would want more light for their crimes they would commit them during the day, wouldn't they? –  Martin Scharrer May 19 '11 at 17:04
    
@Khanzor Don't forget the ~5 minutes halfway between the full moon or new moon. –  muntoo May 20 '11 at 3:30
    
Interestingly there used to be Full Moon Societies which only met on the night of a full moon for safety reasons, as it was light enough to see. EG en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_Society_of_Birmingham –  Nick Oct 1 '12 at 14:55
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1 Answer

up vote 30 down vote accepted

Ivan Kelly, James Rotton and Roger Culver (1996) examined over 100 studies on lunar effects and concluded that the studies have failed to show a reliable and significant correlation (i.e., one not likely due to chance) between the full moon, or any other phase of the moon, and each of the following:

  • the homicide rate
  • traffic accidents
  • crisis calls to police or fire stations
  • domestic violence
  • assassinations
  • kidnappings
  • aggression by professional hockey players
  • violence in prisons
  • assaults
  • gunshot wounds
  • stabbings

(Huge list omitted)

http://www.skepdic.com/fullmoon.html

(At the bottom of that article you will find a lot more references)

This myth is a beautiful example of Confirmation Bias: Confirmation Bias

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