Chocolate consumption and rampaging killers

I’ve posted a couple of times now about how a country’s chocolate consumption is correlated with the number of Nobel Prize winners it has produced. Now a new study in the open access journal PLoS One uses massive amounts of data to show how easy it is to find such accidental correlations. They also note that the chocolate consumption to Nobel Prize winner link disappears once you control for a country’s GDP.

This is Figure 10 from the paper:

Turns out that per capita chocolate consumption also correlates with per capital number of serial and rampage killers in a country. Remember, correlation doesn’t equal causation! I hope especially so in this case.

If you want to find out more about the study, I wrote it in more detail on my science blog.