Study Critique Chocolate Essay

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SS221 Class One/Lab 1a: Study Critique – Chocolate! (10 points)

Read the Messerli (2012) study and answer questions 1-9 in class. You are encouraged (expected really) to use the Morling book to help you answer these questions. You should find all of the italicized terms below in the Morling book.

1. Describe Messerli’s theory at the beginning of his analysis. (theory pp. 9-13)
Messerli’s theory is that flavonoids improve cognitive function, and flavonols reduce cognitive decline that occurs due to age.

2. Do you think he had a hypothesis when he started his analysis – why or why not? If yes, what was it and could it be falsified?
I believe that he had a hypothesis. He predicted that the more chocolate that person consumes, the higher
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The independent is measured by the chocolate consumption per country, but this is too broad when trying to determine how chocolate consumption impacts individuals. Though the consumption is average for the country, it is impossible to tell if the Nobel prize winners ate that much chocolate or whether they ate less or more. Also, in the introduction, the reader was informed that there are many foods that contained flavonoids. Measuring just chocolate consumption, the other forms of flavonoids are completely ignored, even though they may drastically change the conclusion that Messerli came too. The biggest issue with the dependent variable is that Nobel prize winners do not accurately represent the average population; they are much smarter than the average person.

6. What kind of statistical test/data analysis did he perform? Explain the primary result in your own words.
The data analysis that he performed is an association. He stated in the introduction, “I wondered whether there would be a correlation between a country’s level of chocolate consumption and its population’s cognitive function.” The results that he found was there is a decent correlation between chocolate consumption and cognitive function; however, the outliers make the correlation less
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What does it mean to say “correlation does not prove causation”?
It means that just because two things correlate, does not mean that one causes the other. It could be possible that the dependent variable causes the independent variable. Most likely, there may also be a third variable that causes both. Finally, it could just be coincidental as two unrelated things just happen to correlate.

9. Do you think this study used experimental research methods – why or why not?
This study did not use experimental research methods. There was no manipulated variable or controls. Nothing was controlled, so it could have been a countless number of variables on which Messerli did not focus on. Also, both variables were measured.

10. Take Home Assignment for Mon: Take Messerli’s advice and design a follow-up experimental research study that tests one of the 3 theories he puts forward as possible explanations for his results – forward causation, reverse causation, or test of a third factor. Be sure that you explain:
a. Your theory
Chocolate improves cognitive function.
b. Your

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