Chocolate and happiness
Type of Spiritual Experience
This must be one of the funniest papers on Pubmed on attempts to do serious research. In case you cannot work out what happened in this study from the abstract, the researcher tried to do a serious study on whether chocolate makes you happier. Initially he found out that indeed it did, but then somehow his results started to go wrong as the control group started to be happy too - until he found out why - they were cheating and swapping places so they could have chocolate too
A description of the experience
CMAJ. 2007 Dec 4;177(12):1539-41. A clinical trial gone awry: the Chocolate Happiness Undergoing More Pleasantness (CHUMP) study. Chan K.
The randomized controlled trial is the "gold standard" for evaluating the benefits and harms of interventions.
The Chocolate Happiness Undergoing More Pleasantness (CHUMP) study was designed to compare the effects of dark chocolate, milk chocolate and normal chocolate consumption on happiness.
Although the intention-to-treat analysis showed that participants who received either dark or milk chocolate were happier than those who received no chocolate, the actual-consumption analysis showed that there were no differences between any of the groups.
The reason for this result is that many participants switched groups mid-study because of their personal chocolate preferences.
Although the CHUMP study was pleasurable, it demonstrated the difficulties associated with performing a truly blinded clinical trial.