Year of Publication

2014

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Stephen Voss

Abstract

Researchers use natural phenomena in a number of disciplines to help explain human behavioral outcomes. Research regarding the potential effects of magnetic fields on animal and human behavior indicates that fields could influence outcomes of interest to social scientists. Tests so far have been limited in scope. This work is a preliminary evaluation of whether the earth’s magnetic field influences human behavior it examines the baseline relationship exhibited between geomagnetic readings and a host of social and political outcomes. The emphasis on breadth of topical coverage in these statistical trials, rather than on depth of development for any one model, means that evidence is only suggestive – but geomagnetic readings frequently covary with social and political variables in a fashion that seems inexplicable in the absence of a causal relationship. The pattern often holds up in more-elaborate statistical models. Analysis provides compelling evidence that geomagnetic variables furnish valuable information to models. Many researchers are already aware of potential causal mechanisms that link human behavior to geomagnetic levels and this evidence provides a compelling case for continuing to develop the line of research with in-depth, focused analysis.