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New York, March 31(IANS) – It’s loony to blame the full moon for things going crazy at hospital emergency rooms or in birth wards as moon has nothing to do with the timing of human births or hospital admissions, shows a research.
The study reveals how intelligent and otherwise reasonable people develop strong beliefs that, to put it politely, are not aligned with reality. It’s lunatic.
It must be a full moon is a common refrain when things appear more hectic than usual.
But the humble moon is innocent.
Some nurses ascribe the apparent chaos to the moon but dozens of studies show that the belief is unfounded, said Jean-Luc Margot, professor of planetary astronomy at University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA) in a paper that appeared in the journal Nursing Research.
The absence of a lunar influence on human affairs has been demonstrated in the areas of automobile accidents, hospital admissions, surgery outcomes, cancer survival rates, menstruation, births, depression, violent behaviour and even criminal activity.
Even though a 40-year-old UCLA study demonstrated that the timing of births does not correlate in any way with the lunar cycle, the belief in a lunar effect has persisted.
Margot re-analysed the data and showed that the number of admissions was unrelated to the lunar cycle.
Margot cited what scientists refer to as the confirmation bias – people’s tendency to interpret information in a way that confirms their beliefs and ignore data that contradict them.
When life is hectic on the day of a full moon, many people remember the association because it confirms their belief.
But hectic days that do not correspond with a full moon are promptly ignored and forgotten because they do not reinforce the belief.
The societal costs of flawed beliefs can be enormous.
Perhaps, we can start by correcting our delusions about the moon, and work from there, the authors said.