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[Phys-L] Chocolate Makes You Smart!

Some subscribers to Phys-L might be interested in a recent post "Chocolate Makes You Smart!" [Hake (2012)]. The abstract reads:

ABSTRACT: Christopher Green (2012) at <> of the TIPS list pointed to "Chocolate consumption and Nobel Prizes: A bizarre juxtaposition if there ever was one" by Ashutosh Jogalekar (2012) at <>. Jogalekar berated a paper published in the "New England Journal of Medicine" by Franz H. Messerli (2012) at <> titled "Chocolate Consumption, Cognitive Function, and Nobel Laureates."

Messerli plotted "Nobel Laureates per capita" vs "Chocolate Consumption in (kg/yr) per capita)" and found a positive correlation r = 0.791 with p < 0.0001. Does that correlation imply causation? While awaiting Randomized Control Trials (RCT's) in which the inhabitants of randomly selected countries are provided with placebos in place of chocolate, the BBC's Charlotte Pritchard (2012) at <> sought anecdotal information and found it in testimonials by Nobel Laureates Christopher Pissarides <>, Robert Grubbs <>, and Eric Cornell <>, all of whom attributed their awards to their addiction to chocolate.

So that seems to clinch it! CHOCOLATE MAKES YOU SMART ! ; - ) despite "The Internet Blowhard's Favorite Phrase" [Engber (2012)] at <> "correlation does not imply causation"- see also the comic <>.

To access the complete 10 kB post please click on <>.

Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University
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REFERENCES [URL shortened by <> and accessed on 24 Nov 2012.]
Hake, R.R. 2012. "Chocolate Makes You Smart!" online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at <>. Post of 24 Nov 2012 10:34:31-0800 to AERA-L and Net-Gold. The abstract and link to the complete post are being transmitted to several discussion lists and are also on my blog "Hake'sEdStuff" at <> with a provision for comments.