Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Murder - the ice cream connection

We were told a rather interesting fact during my last Strategy class.
Did you know that in New York City there is a strong correlation between the amount of ice cream sold and the amount of people murdered? Well, believe it or not it’s quite true, very predictably when ice cream sales rise, so to do the amount of chalk outlines on the street.

So, what could be the reasoning for this high correlation? You could reason that either
a - Ice cream actually whips (no pun intended) people up into a murderous rage

or
b - murdering people increases the appetite for a nice ice cream based treat.

The answer is... of course neither of those options and the reason for the correlation is actually the summer weather and the accompanying heat which seems makes people a tad more murderous than when it is cold.

The moral of the story, two sets of figures correlating may not tell much of the story.

2 comments:

Rowan Manahan said...

Let us not forget sir, that the number of shark attacks is also closely correlated to ice cream sales.

Dangerous, dangerous substance ...

Or perhaps there is a big fat difference between correlation and causation, which media outlets tend to, shall we say, gloss over.

ed said...

Sharks, yes I never even thought of that, and skin cancer I would bet, I think that this "iced cream" needs to be put behind bars before its too late.

I am sure that Sky "news" (news channel of the year oddly enough) will be more than willing to help out in reporting this!