comedy, statistical jokes

Statistical Jokes (44): Correlation Doesn’t Imply Causation, Ctd.

correlation between chocolate consumption and nobel laureates

(source)

This is a real study apparently, not a joke at all – at least not intended as one. And the “researcher” even goes out of his way to argue that correlation in this case does imply causation:

There was a close, significant linear correlation (r=0.791, P<0.0001) between chocolate consumption per capita and the number of Nobel laureates per 10 million persons in a total of 23 countries (Figure 1). When recalculated with the exclusion of Sweden, the correlation coefficient increased to 0.862. Switzerland was the top performer in terms of both the number of Nobel laureates and chocolate consumption. The slope of the regression line allows us to estimate that it would take about 0.4 kg of chocolate per capita per year to increase the number of Nobel laureates in a given country by 1. For the United States, that would amount to 125 million kg per year. The minimally effective chocolate dose seems to hover around 2 kg per year, and the dose–response curve reveals no apparent ceiling on the number of Nobel laureates at the highest chocolate-dose level of 11 kg per year. …

The principal finding of this study is a surprisingly powerful correlation between chocolate intake per capita and the number of Nobel laureates in various countries. Of course, a correlation between X and Y does not prove causation but indicates that either X influences Y, Y influences X, or X and Y are influenced by a common underlying mechanism. However, since chocolate consumption has been documented to improve cognitive function, it seems most likely that in a dose-dependent way, chocolate intake provides the abundant fertile ground needed for the sprouting of Nobel laureates. (source)

I still have a hard time believing this is for real.

More correlation-causation jokes. More statistical jokes.

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One thought on “Statistical Jokes (44): Correlation Doesn’t Imply Causation, Ctd.

  1. Pingback: Statistical Jokes (44): Correlation Doesn’t Imply Causation, Ctd. | AKempor - Arbeitskreis Empirische Personal- und Organisationsforschung

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