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Bad moon on the rise? Lunar cycles and incidents of crime

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Author Info

  • Schafer, Joseph A.
  • Varano, Sean P.
  • Jarvis, John P.
  • Cancino, Jeffrey M.
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    Abstract

    Popular cultures in Western societies have long espoused the notion that phases of the moon influence human behavior. In particular, there is a common belief the full moon increases incidents of aberrant, deviant, and criminal behavior. Using police, astronomical, and weather data from a major southwestern American city, this study assessed whether lunar cycles related with rates of reported crime. The findings fail to support popular lore, which has suggested that lunar phase influenced the volume of crime reported to the police. Future research directions examining qualitative rather than quantitative aspects of this problem may yield further inform the understanding of whether lunar cycles appreciably influence demands for policing services.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6V75-509Y43J-1/2/c9b82dc6f3fea7ca6d652156770c28f0
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Criminal Justice.

    Volume (Year): 38 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 4 (July)
    Pages: 359-367

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jcjust:v:38:y::i:4:p:359-367

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jcrimjus

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    Cited by:
    1. Sorg, Evan T. & Taylor, Ralph B., 2011. "Community-level impacts of temperature on urban street robbery," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 463-470.

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