Chocolate Can Improve Memory

Introduction

Recent psychological studies indicate that eating chocolate can help to improve memory in both men and women. A study conducted by Jones and Wilson  (2011) revealed that eating chocolate two hours before taking math tests significantly improved scores. Another investigation carried out by Wong, Hideki, Anderson, and Skaarsgard (2009) found that women are better than men on memory tests after consuming chocolate. The objective of the study is to find out whether chocolate consumption has an effect on the memory of men and women, and the difference in the degree of effect between women and men. This is why this study hypothesizes that chocolate consumption can help improve memory and this is more effective in women than men. The research question for the study states that, “Can eating chocolate improve memory among men and women? The null hypothesis for the study therefore states that eating chocolate can improve memory in both men and women and it is more effective in women than in men.

This is one-tailed hypothesis because recent research suggests that consuming chocolate improves memory and the effects are more pronounced in women than in men. The purpose of this paper is to report the findings of a study that investigates the effects of chocolate consumption on memory performance among 50 men and 50 women. It describes the step by step methods used in data collection and data analysis processes. It then highlights the statistical results of the study based on one-tailed test. This is followed by a discussion section describing the relationship between the research findings and the null hypothesis. Also included in the discussion section is a brief description of possible implications and limitations for the study. The report ends in a conclusion section that states how the study could be improved and the future direction. It also highlights my experience with writing a false research report.

Methodology

The experimental design used in the study was simple random sampling that was done from a large population of men and women from various households within the community. The quantity of chocolate consumed was the independent variable while the marks scored in a science test was the dependent variable. 50 men and 50 women participated in the study. These participants were selected at random from the community by moving from door to door and providing informed consent to members of the family. Only those who were willing to participate were included in the group, from adolescents aged 15 to adults aged 35. This was done until the required numbers of 50 men and 50 women were obtained.

All participants were taken through a PowerPoint presentation about the format of a scientific research report, with a brief description of what is to be included in each section. The whole group was then divided into three smaller groups of 30 people each, with each group consisting of 15 men and 15 women chosen at random. Group one, group two and group three were given 10g, 20g and 30g of chocolate respectively. 5 men and 5 women were used as controls, that is, they were given 0g of chocolate. After 30 minutes all men and women were given a science test that required them to give the correct format of a scientific research report, giving a brief description of what is to be included in each section. Thirty minutes were allocated for the test after which the marks scored by all participants were recorded.

Data Analysis

Data analysis was carried out using Statistical Packages for Social Scientist (SPSS), 12.0 for Windows. The data obtained from the study was entered into the computer, with men and women as labels, and the system allowed to perform the analysis and to produce results of the t-tests.

Results

One tailed t-test is the statistical test that was used in data analysis using the SPSS for Windows. The results showed an independent t-test value of t .05(99) = 3.43; p < .05. All the 90 participants who consumed chocolate gave higher scores that the 10 participants who did not eat chocolate. Group three that consumed 30 g of chocolate obtained higher scores that the second group which scored higher marks than the first group. In all groups, women scored higher marks than men.

Discussion

One-tailed statistical test was chosen for this data because previous studies suggest that chocolate consumption improves memory and the effect is more in women than in men.

A t-test value of 3.43 indicates that chocolate consumption is associated with high performance in tests and women tend to respond to chocolate effects better than men. This way, I fail to reject the null hypothesis that states that eating chocolate can improve memory in both men and women and it is more effective in women than in men. These results are consistent with previous findings of Jones and Wilson (2013), and of Wong et al (2009). The major implication of using the research design involving a large population is to have a balanced and varied pool of participants for the study. One main limitation of the study is the use of large samples that might consume a lot of time in preparing the list, and eventually becoming uneconomical to handle (McMurry, 2010).

Conclusion

This study reveals that there is a direct link between chocolate consumption and memory improvement, and that women are better than men on memory tests after consuming chocolate. This study could be improved by collecting samples from different communities and studying how men and women respond to assessment questions after consuming chocolate. Future psychological scientists can consider conducting similar research to find out whether the observed variations can change with age. From this task, I have learnt that it is quite difficult to write a false research report that reads like real results. However, I think that this experience provides me with skills that can be useful in my future career as a psychological researcher.


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