Here’s a pretty funny example of silly statistics, caught by Lisa Wade:
A study published in 2001 . . . asked undergraduate college students their favorite color and presented the results by sex. Men’s favorites are on the left, women’s on the right:
The authors of the study, Lee Ellis and Christopher Ficek, wrote:
We are inclined to suspect the involvement of neurohormonal factors. Studies of rats have found average sex differences in the number of neurons comprising various parts of the visual cortex. Also, gender differences have been found in rat preferences for the amount of sweetness in drinking water. One experiment demonstrated that the sex differences in rat preferences for sweetness was eliminated by depriving males of male-typical testosterone levels in utero. Perhaps, prenatal exposure to testosterone and other sex hormones operates in a similar way to “bias” preferences for certain colors in humans.
As Wade points out, that all seems a bit ridiculous given some much more direct stories based on the big-time association of pink and blue with girls and boys.
No big deal, it’s just sort of funny to see this sort of pseudoscientific explanation in such pure form.
And what kind of person lists green as their favorite color? 20% and 29%? I can’t believe it! Sure, green is the color of money, but still . . .
P.S. That blog entry has 68 comments! I don’t think there’s really so much to say about this study. I guess it’s like 538: the commenters just start arguing with each other.