Introduction

Different communities share the theory of the moon affecting individual's behavior across the world. It is alleged that during the full moon phase, people exhibit lunacy behaviors. According to the believers of this theory, during this time, people become more violent and more suicide cases are reported, while accidents on the road take place more frequently and even hospital admissions go on the rise (Arkowitz & Lilienfeld, 2009). The full moon phase is when the moon is closest to the earth. Scientists have proven that the full moon has several effects on the earth such as causing high tides and influencing the amount of rainfall. The full moon has also been associated with storms and other climate-related phenomena. The reason given by scientists regarding various ordinary activities is that the moons gravity influences water bodies, causing the high tides which lead to high rates of rainfall and storms (Hammond, 2013). The same cannot, however, be applied to human beings. Although human body contains large quantities of water, it has never been proven that the moon's gravity is strong enough to manipulate this water causing a change of behavior (Arkowitz & Lilienfeld, 2009). Many scholars have conducted studies to establish any relationship between the full moon and the lunacy behavior. However, none of these studies have given conclusive evidence which can be relied upon to validate the theory (Hammond, 2013). The aim of the current project is to establish the relationship between road collision accidents in the city of Brooklyn as recorded by the New York police department and the occurrence of the full moon. The data is composed of all collision accidents that occured in 2015 and the phase of the moon at the time they occurred. The study intends to examine whether there exists a relationship between the two variables. The use of statistics in the investigation of the theory is a suitable way of determining its validity.

Executive Summary

The use of statistics in todays research is an important aspect of education. Statistics rely on the available data to make a conclusion on whether or not an accretion is true or false. Statistics, therefore, relies on the quantitative element of the research. The researcher applies various tests to a predetermined result which determines whether the accretion is valid or not.

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In the case of the theory of lunacy caused by the full moon, the researcher obtained data from two bodies; the New York police department and weather department. The data from the police deals with the road collisions on Brooklyn roads while the one from the weather department shows the occurrence of the moon phases. The aim of the researchers study was to analyze the data and determine whether the presence of the full moon causes a change in human behavior. The expected result is that if indeed the full moon has an impact on the human brain then the number of collisions will be greater during the nights it occurred and the fewer during the occurrence of another phase of the moon.

The reason for the choice of the data was that it had a direct relation with the subject in question. Road collisions are also a matter of concern to the society and, therefore, require more studies to identify a potential uninvestigated cause. The data provided by the police is also accurate and conclusive since it is provided by high-tech machines such as surveillance cameras installed on the roads. The phases of the moon are the only connection between the two types of data since they occur the whole year round and can be monitored reliably.

Through a keen analysis of the data, it was revealed that the suggestion that the full moon causes lunacy is untrue. The evidence gathered proved that accidents occurred in a rather uniform manner during different phases of the moon. It was also established that there is no correlation between the time of occurrence of the accidents and the number of people injured. The researcher also noted that several factors had to be taken into account while analyzing such data. There are many more causes of collisions other than the full moon effects as proposed by the theory. There is no proof linking the phase of the moon and the occurrence of unusual events on the planet. More research has to be conducted to identify the origin of the theory and determine whether there are other dimensions such as religion to be investigated to prove its validity. The theory of lunacy caused by the full moon was found to be quantitatively invalid since it could not be supported by the available data.

Background

Over the centuries, people have believed in the full moon theory. The truth of the theory has however never been proven scientifically or otherwise. The need to investigate the so-called lunacy during the full moon is the key motivating factor in choosing the data used in this paper. The data is meant to differentiate between myth and reality. In past studies, it was established that a surprising forty-five percent of young people in a school...?. The paramedics and other emergency responding teams are kept on high alert during the full moon crises. The police on the other side are believed to double the number of patrol officers to handle the issues which may arise on this particular day (Hammond, 2013). Such measures reveal the extent to which people believe in the theory.

The New York Police Department keeps an accurate and detailed report on the crimes and incidents happening in the city. Collision accidents are, however, the most numerous in the list. Collision among drivers is an accident that is caused by a range of factors. The leading cause of this accident is drunkenness of drivers. Other causes are high speed, fog or other weather factors and failure to follow traffic rules. The accidents involve all road users such as motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians. The accidents occur when two or more of these parties collide and cause damage or loss of life. Many of the cases are caused by private motor vehicles. The highest number of victims includes pedestrians.

Although the investigation of an accident can establish a particular cause, the accidents occur at random and, therefore, are unpredictable. Several studies have attempted to establish some tendencies in the occurrence of the accidents. Many of the collisions, for example, occur during rush hours that include early morning and late evening (Hamilton, Tefft, Arnold, & Grabowski, 2014, p. 8). During this time, people are rushing to work or heading home. The traffic is congested increasing the chance of an accident. There is another tendency suggesting that many accidents occur during the weekend (NHTSA, 2015). Friday nights, and the days of Saturday and Sunday are terrible days when both motorists and pedestrians are in a great danger of being involved in an accident. During the weekend, people are in the partying mood and there is an increased alcohol consumption rate leading to reckless driving.

The full moon is believed to make people get involved in bizarre and rather unusual behaviors. According to believers of the lunacy theory, many extraordinary events occur during the full moon nights. Some of them include the increase of violence in both people and animals. It is believed that during full moon nights, more people get engaged in fights while many more are even bitten by animals such as dogs, horses, and cats (Arkowitz & Lilienfeld, 2009). Another unusual occurrence is the increase of homicide cases, which increases the number of suicides and causes more emergency calls. The increase in traffic accidents is also listed as one of the activities influenced by the full moon.

To investigate this theory, one requires accurate data which would be consistent and complete. The collision data obtained from the New York police has all of these traits. Since collision cases on the roads involve some economic loss or body harm, only a few of them go unreported. Therefore, the data is complete. Since the roads are monitored using surveillance cameras, the incidents are accurately recorded. The records are also arranged in a chronological manner based on the date and time of the collision occurrence. The issue of traffic accidents is also relevant since the theory of full moon causing lunacy cases mentions it as an unusual event.

The data on the phases of the moon is an important aspect of the study. The moon has five stages in its movement around the earth. The process starts from the new moon which is invisible. The other stages are named proportionally to the size of the full moon. Therefore, there is the quarter, half and three-quarter moon. The full moon is, however, the most important phase investigated in this study. The full moon occurs when the moon appears as complete. In the ancient times, it was believed that during the period of the full moon, people transformed into wolves or vampires. The belief though absurd explains the concerns human beings have towards the moon.

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Based on the scientific research, the full moon is closing to the earth. Since the moon just like the earth has its gravitational force, it influences water bodies causing tides. The moon's gravitational force, however, has insignificant impact o human beings. It is lesser than the force exerted by an insect standing on the body of a person (Arkowitz & Lilienfeld, 2009). The accretion that the full moon affects the human body cannot be explained by science in any way (Bryner, 2011). Scientists believe that the theory is based on a myth since there is no evidence supporting it.

Choosing the data from the moon phases is important for the current study as it determines the validity of the theory. The moon phase reveals the time when the full moon appears. The stages of the moon occur in a cycle. However, the time taken by each phase varies. The researcher should, therefore, identify the specific time period when the full moon appears and compare such a time period with the selected unusual occurrence. In this case, therefore, the time when the full moon appears will be compared to the number of accidents witnessed. To control the study, other phases of the moon will also be monitored to observe their relationship with the incidence under consideration. The choice of the data is, therefore, valid. Both websites present information which is related to a particular theory and can be used to validate it if the necessary tests prove the existence of a significant relationship.

Process and Results

The data obtained from the police department is very detailed. Among other documents it contains the names of streets, latitudes, longitudes, time periods, and types of cars. The information is not, however, important for the study. The most valuable information is the one, which includes people involved in the collision. The aim of the report is to prove that traffic offenses increase in number during the full moon unlike during other periods. The data of the occurrence is also critical to determine whether the collision happened on a full moon night. The information is then grouped into days making a chart and accounting for the people involved in an accident on a particular day. The data is then collected according to the phase of the moon taking place during the given day. The stages of the moon are assigned to a particular figure. The figure allows them to be compared to other types of data since a moon phase is not quantitative.

In the analysis of the information obtained from the data, methods such as correlation and covariance will be undertaken. The data will then be presented on an excel sheet to facilitate the handling of the question. The initial step is to identify dates of each month when during which the full moon appeared. Each month, the full moon appeared at least once. The next step is to use the police data to count the number of accidents that have occurred on that particular date of the full moon. Although different phases of the moon take place for several days, the peak day is the one selected. On this given day, the phase is witnessed clearly without ambiguity or confusion with any other phase.

The data identified reveals the trend in the occurrence of accidents on the full moon day. To compare this information, however, it is important for the researcher to identify another phase of the moon such as the new moon, and repeat the initial procedure. During the full moon, the largest surface of the moon is visible, while the new moon is invisible. Therefore, the new moon is a perfect object for comparison with the full moon. The number of collisions witnessed during each phase can be combined into a chart as indicated below.

Figure 1.

There are several areas of intersection between the line for the full moon and the one for the new moon. At this point, the number of accidents was similar. The data cannot, therefore, be used to make a clear report on whether the full moon causes lunacy. A good example is the month of February, when the number of collisions during the full moon was exceptionally high. The opposite, however, is seen during the month of April, while in August and December the number of accidents during the full moon was the lowest. In particular instances, the number of accidents was higher during the new moon than during the full moon. Such months include August and December.

The correlation test can be used to determine the relationship between the time of occurrence of the accidents and the number of people injured. In this case, only the time when the full moon has been witnessed will be recorded against the number of people injured. The test is meant to reveal whether the two sets of data are interrelated. A high correlation shows that there is a possibility that one of the occurrences influences the other. The correlation as indicated in the Excel sheet is 0.029. Such kind of correlation is insignificant and cannot be used as evidence to prove the existence of a strange relationship.

Lessons

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The data provided by the police department reveals that accidents on the roads of Brooklyn happen almost every minute. There were a total of more than fifty thousand collisions in the year 2015; however, only twenty thousand resulted in injuries or fatalities. The data does not prove that the full moon affects people's behavior, causing them to behave abnormally. No day has passed without accidents during the entire year. The number of accidents, however, varies from day to day. In some instances, during the phase of a full moon, the number of accidents was at its highest point. Such evidence may not, however, be a proof that the phenomena are the cause of the accidents. In some cases, the high number of accidents can be associated with multiple factors such as weather, and the day of the week. During summer, people are more excited and, therefore, less cautious. A similar scenario is exhibited during the weekends since the majority of people are partying.

The theory of lunacy and the full moon cannot be proven scientifically or statistically yet many people across the world believe it. The answer to this curious question can be traced in various ways. A vast number of believers are probably people who want to promote the theory despite the little evidence in its support. In this case, the believers will have a predetermined mindset that unusual events must occur during the nights of the full moon (Bryner, 2011). In the same way, people will keep journals about particular days and avoid other. As a result, there is always bias in determining the validity of the precise theories.

The media plays a significant role in promoting the lunacy theory. Hollywood movies showing horror scenes are broadcasted during the full moon nights. Such an influence is extended to the viewers who soon begin to believe that the theory is correct and that indeed lunacy occurs during full moon nights. An area which has not been fully exploited in researching the theory that lunacy is caused by the full moon is the effect of the moon glare on people with mental problems. The increased number of bizarre incidents is caused by persons who have been diagnosed with mental illnesses. During the full moon night, the glare of the moon makes the night appear bright just like during the day. It may, therefore, distract such people from sleep and force them to become active. It is during this time that they encounter animals or other people and get involved in violent crimes or other unusual incidents.

Conclusion

The theory of the full moon causing lunacy is certainly an issue of debate which will not be resolved soon. Over the centuries, the issue has been discussed with evidence from various perspectives such as religious, social and scientific. According to various researchers, there has not been given a scientific evidence to prove that on a full moon night people feel different or are obliged to behave differently. The evidence provided by the New York police department also did not support such an assertion. Believers in this theory, therefore, will require new evidence to persuade scholars that lunacy is indeed caused by the full moon. Further studies need to be conducted to identify the real origin of the theory and whether there is a possibility that the belief was a reality in the past. Meanwhile, however, the use of statistics proves to be a suitable way of validating or invalidating the theory. Various tests have been conducted based on the data provided and results have shown that the theory can not be substantiated. The proof of the existence of lunacy caused by the full moon probably lies in the ancient legends which often demonstrate that the phenomenon existed in the past days and probably faded away due the issue of modernity.

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