Supermoon effects: Will the Full Moon make you CRAZY tonight? What is Lunar Lunacy?

The Supermoon approached the Earth early this morning just after 9am GMT (UTC), two hours after moonset in the UK. As the Moon moved out of sight below the horizon, it neared its so-called point of perigee. Perigee is the Moon’s closest orbit of the Earth, meaning the Full Moon tonight is bigger and brighter-than-usual. But tonight’s Supermoon is particularly interesting because it is the biggest Full Moon to grace the skies this year.

And Supermoons like this are often associated with paranormal stories, bizarre myth and folklore.

One of the most interesting alleged side-effects of a Supermoon Full Moon is the claim the larger-than-usual Moon triggers increased feelings of lunacy.

The so-called Lunar Lunacy curse, sometimes dubbed the Transylvania Effect, is a well-document disorder associated with Full Moons.

The commonly held superstition was examined by scientists as early as the 1980s, with at least 40 documented case studies.


But is there any credibility to the long-held Supermoon belief? Not according to a 1985 research paper published in the Psychological Bulletin.

The Full Moon study was dubbed Much Ado About the Full Moon: A Meta-Analysis of Lunar-Lunacy Research.

In the study, a duo of researchers examined the supposed effects a Full Moon has on unusual behaviour but failed to found genuine links between the Moon and increased feelings of lunacy.

The study’s authors James Rotton and W.I. Kelly found very little to support the superstition.

The researchers wrote: “Because the topic borders on the paranormal, it is easy to dismiss the lunar-lunacy research as ridiculous and unworthy of serious consideration.

“However, psychologists need to take the topic seriously because, if for no other reason, so many people believe that their behaviour is influenced by the Moon.


“For example, Angus (1973) found that 74 percent of the nurses working in one psychiatric setting believed that the Moon affects mental illness.

“There has been surprisingly little research done on lunar beliefs.

“Jorgensen (1981) found that individual with an external locus of external control were more likely to attribute their own behaviour and that of others to lunar influences than those with an internal locus of control.”

In their own research, however, Rotton and Kelly found people who believe in the effects of lunar lunacy equally believed in other paranormal phenomena, such as extraterrestrial aliens and ghosts.


As such, the pair of researchers discounted the notion a Full Moon has any real effect on the way a person behaves.

They concluded: “As we have approached the topic in this review, research on lunar periodicities ‘is not pseudoscience in the usual sense. But it is certainly bad science’.

“Reviews often conclude with recommendations and calls for further research.

“We will break with this tradition by pointing out that this article’s title is an indirect reference to an earlier one on the null hypothesis.

“As far as recommendations are concerned, it is our hope that it will also be a ‘much adieu about the Full Moon’.”


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