Does eating chocolate improve memory in men and women?
PSY 325 Statistics of Behavioral & Social Sciences (PSI1918A)
Does eating chocolate improve memory in men and women?
Ren Jones and Robby Wilson
Kylo Wong, Taylor Hideki, Stephany Anderson and Mitchel Skaarsgard
West Washington University
Florida Eastern College
Chocolate has often been used as a feel-good coping method. People have used it in the past for a caffeine substitute or even just a way to indulge. Women tend to think chocolate has a way of making all things better during times of their menstrual cycles. It is craved amongst many people and has that aphrodisiac reputation. Many of the perceived benefits from chocolate, including enhanced state of euphoria, minimal anxiety, and increased energy, just to name a few. The purpose of this study was to compare the outcome of memory tests on 50 men and 50 women after consuming chocolate. A t-test was conducted to compare men and women’s performance on an assessment after eating chocolate. The results showed an independent t-test value of t .05(99) = 3.43; p < .05. These results suggest that among the men and women, found that women are better than men on memory after eating chocolate two hours before memory tests. Future research conducted should focus on the primary effects of consumption on multiple assessments, similar to the memory tests.
Keywords: chocolate consumption, women, men, memory
An increasing study suggests, that women who consume chocolate two hours prior to test taking have a greater result on the memory tests than men who consumed the same amount of chocolate for the same duration prior to test taking (Wong, Hideki, Anderson, & Skaarsgard 2009). This evidence permits ongoing studies to help further understand memory improvement tactics among men and women. Instant satisfaction and minimal anxiety are primary factors related to the consumption of chocolate, and memory improvement in women (Wong, Hideki, Anderson, & Skaarsgard, 2009). Generally speaking, women who consume chocolate have greater memory improvement and recollection than men (Jones & Wilson, 2011), avoid memory relapse (Roberts, 2012), and have greater remembrance of strenuous memory assessments (Wong, Hideki, Anderson, & Skaarsgard, 2009). Chocolate consumption is a comping mechanism for females who are going through anxiety driven spells or perhaps just normal menstruation cycles. It also may reduce urges to indulge in the caffeine fueled spells and experience those withdrawal symptoms that come with too much caffeine. Lab work and trials have showed positive effects of different chocolate consumption on the improvement of memory for men and women and positive increase in scores for women who consume chocolate within two hours. Because of the milligrams of caffeine or various types of chocolate, it is not clear whether the type of chocolate relates directly to memory (Roberts, 2012). Although there may be contradictions, current knowledge shows that memory improvement and chocolate show acute correlation. Anticipated expectancies show that male or female may experience improvement in memory and although both have displayed improvement, women are expected to show a more significant improvement within the two-hour window of chocolate consumption. The purpose of this study was to assess effects of chocolate on memory in men versus women who have consumed chocolate two hours prior to a memory assessment. The primary hypothesis was that after memory assessments, women would demonstrate greater memory improvement than men who consumed the same amount of chocolate.
Participants included 50 females (21 –35 years old) and 50 Males (21-35 years old) randomly selected from a larger population of people reporting to have positive reactions to chocolate consumption not related to memory and reactions related to memory. Participants were not categorized. Prior to participation, informed consent of the trial was obtained. After study completion, participants received their results and free chocolate bars.
Participants attended a three- hour session. During this session, they completed consent, and were exposed to the chocolate bars, which they consumed prior to any memory assessments. They were instructed to consume the full amount of chocolate bar. If there was still chocolate left over, participants were asked to wait until all chocolate has been consumed by each participant before proceeding. This task included procedures adapted from Roberts (Roberts, 2012) and integrated with reliable methods that were used to stimulate memory (Wong, Hideki, Anderson, & Skaarsgard, 2009). Procedures were first tested with twenty-five females, and twenty-five males who demonstrated a significant increase in mood changes after chocolate consumption. After the baseline assessments were established, participants were instructed to complete a basic memory assessment. Participants then described to the researcher the recollection of several number and letter sequences. The researcher recorded responses during this task. All participants were made aware after the session and provided a pamphlet on memory improvement and stimulation.
A t-test was conducted to compare men and women’s performance on an assessment after eating chocolate between the two groups. The results showed an independent t-test value of t .05(99) = 3.43; p < .05. Differences in memory recalls between groups were analyzed using chocolate consumption versus memory recall and women versus men. Partial correlation analysis was used to analyze associations between chocolate consumption, and time spent between consumption and assessment.
Participants were recruited through online advertisements and word of mouth. Female and male participants between ages of 21-35 years were enrolled and completed the study. The majority 78% was African American, 3% Caucasian, 12% Asian, 7% Other/Undetermined race. The mean age was 28 years old and participants consumed about 1.5 standard size chocolate bars. The only group difference at baseline arose with the female group scoring higher than the male group during memory assessments. There were no differences between the groups for increased improved overall memory.
The purpose of this study was to better understand the effect of chocolate on male and female memory. This study is the first to exclusively explore the relationship between memory and food substance such as chocolate. Results showed increased overall memory improvement in men and women. Specifically, women showed an improvement on memory related assessments within a two-hour window of chocolate consumption. Measures could have been taken to assess both male and female memory prior to the consumption of chocolate using the same memory assessments and reporting the difference. In the current study, all participants reported a feeling of improved memory from the number sequences after consuming the chocolate. Thus, it was likely that the chocolate contributed to the short- term effects of memory improvement in men and women, without having the baseline prior to consumption established. Studies in the future could examine effects underlying association with chocolate consumption and memory prior, during and after.
My experience with writing this fictitious report proved to be challenging. Although going off of minimal information and imagination was the easy part, filling in the gaps with relevant information was difficult. Writing a false report that reads like real results was concerning due to limited knowledge. It was hard not to do actual research on the subject to make the results, means, groups and information on participants provided, make sense. This experience can affect the way I view research in the future because I know that there is a lot that goes into results and the procedure portion. In my potential career field reading and writing research papers will prove to be a useful skill. I will most likely focus on triggers in field agents for the FBI in correlation with time in recovery before being cleared to return to duty.
Anderson, S., Hideki, T., Skaarsgard, M., & Wong, K. (2009) Improved Recollection with Sugar Stimulation. Fully Fabricated Journal, 36(2), 166-188.
Jones, R., & Wilson, R. (2011). Chocolate & Memory. Fictitious Science Alibis,44(3),171-177.
Roberts, D. (2012). Use of Chocolate in Memory Assessments. The Art of False Knowledge, 22(4), 217-304.