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back to article Hankering for a Nobel Prize? EAT MORE CHOCOLATE

A California researcher has discovered a strong correlation between chocolate consumption and the degree of smarts that results in being awarded a Noble Prize. In "Chocolate habits of Nobel prizewinners", published in Thursday's edition of Nature, Beatrice Golomb of the University of California, San Diego, notes that of the 23 …

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Boffin

Causal test?

But what were their chocolate habits before winning? Did they eat more than was typical for their cohort then? Or is chocoholism a side effect of winning a major scientific prize?

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Holmes

Did you know that?

There's a correlation between shark attacks and ice cream sales.

Did they take into account cocoa content and composition as well? Chocolate in one country is not the same as another.

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Uhm... slow day?

Even the beeb has this back in November, with the exact same graph. We do pay attention.

bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20356613

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Silver badge

Re: Uhm... slow day?

The BBC article only references the Messerli study (whence came the graph) -- not the Golomb study. Re-read the Reg article, and you'll see it's primarily about the newer study.

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Trollface

Obvious Confounding Variable.

The Swiss have the most award recipients, and eat the most chocolate. The next several countries in both categories enjoy relatively open borders with Switzerland, enabling cross-pollination opportunities.

Check your genealogy: if you have Swiss blood in you, you may be prone to eating a lot of chocolate, or to performing extraordinary tasks solely for small quantities of metal and a sizeable quantity of dosh.

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Anonymous Coward

Ummm - I think this is a hoax. Correlation is not causation! This was looked into on more or less on radio 4 by Tim Harford some months ago, and I think the guys at the following blog showed similar relationships between car crashes and Nobel laureates (and chocolate consumption to serial killer rates);

http://www.replicatedtypo.com/chocolate-consumption-traffic-accidents-and-serial-killers/5718.html

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Pint

Re: A.C. @ 19:58

"Correlation is not causation!"

As if that matters in this case...

Beer, 'cause some folks like it like I like chocolate.

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The researchers seemed to have overlooked...

...that in addition to a cash prize each laureate also receives 274839 Mars Bars?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The researchers seemed to have overlooked...

"274839 Mars Bars"

I'll have those fried please.

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Anonymous Coward

Women....

...we all know they eat a lot of chocolate, well us married men know that... So if the Chocolate / Nobel Prize correlation is correct then most Nobel Prize winners should be women.

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The graph seems to be more like a combination of general standard of living combined with importance of chocolate culturally in terms of local confectionery and pastry preferences, plus some added random elements. To me that's Occam's Razor in action: we already have a very simple reason of why we see this distribution. No need to find arcane reasons!

It's true that one needs to explain Belgium but their Burgundian attitude might conflict with Nobel aspirations, at times :-)

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Devil

"It's true that one needs to explain Belgium"

I go to Belgium every year, and I can't explain the place. Especially the driving.

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Pint

Percentage

Chocolate made at least 20% of what I am today!

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Silver badge

Are they deliberately fishing for an Ig Nobel Prize?

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Coat

Perhaps if the conclusion were extrapolated in extremis they'd be in line for a Darwin

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Aw, c'mon. Don't you think Al Gore could have totally skewed the results all by himself? Look at him. He's the size of a small country. His methane emissions must be creating more climate change than a city.

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Silver badge

"Nobelists could understate chocolate consumption to amplify the appearance that native prowess led to their Prize ..."

I'm sure that a Nobel prize winner would never falsify data for their own benefit.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'm sure that a Nobel prize winner would never falsify data for their own benefit.

I'm sure that once you have a Nobel prize, you pretty much dont need to falsify data to gain benefit; benefits will flow regardless of how mundane your subsequent work is. Why put a Nobel-sized reputation at risk with fakery?

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explanation

Of course Nobel price winners eat more chocolate than other people, they are rich because of the price money they have received. Obviously they buy more chocolate, duh.

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Anonymous Coward

Hang on a moment...

May be my failing eyesight - but I don't see any attributions to Israeli persons.

1. Is this credible, bearing in mind generally prestigious accomplishments by such persons in very many fields of intellectual endeavour?

2. Is this true?

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