SAMPLE The Effect of Chocolate Chips on Cookie Preference By

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The Effect of Chocolate Chips on Cookie Preference
By: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis, Jr.
Materials
Plate (minimum
Pillsbury chocolate chip cookie dough
Pillsbury Sugar cookie dough
36 cm diameter)
(2 tubes, 467 grams each)
(2 tubes, 467 grams each)
Baking sheet
Oven
Procedure
1. Prepare two tubes of Pillsbury chocolate chip cookies according to manufacturer’s
directions based on the recipe on the back of the product packaging.
(Minimum 50 cookies)
2. Prepare two tubes of Pillsbury sugar cookies according to the manufacturer’s directions
based on the recipe on the back of the product packaging. (Minimum 50 cookies)
3. Place five chocolate chip cookies and five sugar cookies on a plate.
4. Deliver the plate to Mr. Smith’s office during 4th block (when he has a planning period).
5. Leave the plate of cookies in a conspicuous place within Mr. Smith’s office.
6. Leave the room.
7. After 85 minutes, return to the room and collect the remaining cookies.
8. Count the number of cookies of each type remaining, and record the information in a data
table. (# cookies consumed = # of starting cookies - # cookies remaining)
9. Repeat steps 3-7 on ten different days, recording the results from each trial. Be sure to
always drop off the cookie plate at the same time for each trial.
10. After ten trials, calculate the average number of each type of cookie that was consumed.
Compare the averages for chocolate chip vs. sugar cookies to determine the validity of
the hypothesis.
Results
Results of this experiment are summarized in the following table:
Table 1: Numerical Results
Trial
Number
Date
Time
Cookies
Deployed
Time
Cookie
Plate
Retrieved
1
2
3
4
2/28/12
3/1/12
3/3/12
3/9/12
2:20 pm
2:22 pm
2:25 pm
2:19 pm
3:45 pm
3:42 pm
3:48 pm
3:43 pm
5
6
7
8
9
10
3/11/12
2:22 pm
3:44 pm
3/12/12
2:20 pm 3:51 pm
3/14/12
2:21 pm 3:39 pm
3/15/12
2:15 pm 3:41 pm
3/18/12
2:22 pm 3:47 pm
3/19/12
2:28 pm 3:48 pm
Average Cookies Per Trial:
Number of
Chocolate
Chip
Cookies
Consumed
4
2
3
5
Number of
Sugar
Cookies
Consumed
Notes
1
0
2
2
1
3
3
2
4
5
3
3.2
1
2
2
5
1
1.9
Some cookies
deployed on this date
may have been eaten
by a mouse observed
in the office, rather
than by Mr. Smith.
Another way to examine the data is to consider the percentages of total cookie consumption
on each day of the trial.
Table 2: Percentage Results
Trial
Number
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
TOTALS
Number of
Chocolate
Chip
Cookies
Consumed
4
2
3
5
1
3
2
4
5
3
32
Number of
Sugar
Cookies
Consumed
Total
Cookies
Consumed
%
Chocolate
Chip
Cookies
% Sugar
Cookies
1
0
2
2
3
1
2
2
5
1
19
5
2
5
7
4
4
4
6
10
4
51
80
100
60
71.4
25
75
50
67
50
75
63%
20
0
40
28.6
75
25
50
33
50
25
37%
Graph
Number of Cookies Consumed Per Trial
6
# Cookies Consumed
5
4
Choc. Chip
3
Sugar
2
1
0
Trial 1 Trial 2 Trial 3 Trial 4 Trial 5 Trial 6 Trial 7 Trial 8 Trial 9 Trial 10
Conclusion
The hypothesis for this experiment was the effect of chocolate chips on cookie preference.
Based on the analysis of the data obtained during the study period, this experiment seems to
support the hypothesis that when cookies left unattended in the vicinity of Mr. Smith, there
will be differential cookie consumption, with chocolate chip cookies being consumed more
than other types of cookies.
Supporting results include the fact that nine of the ten trials, the number of chocolate chip
cookies consumed was equal to or exceeded the number of sugar cookies consumed. (As
noted in the table notes, external conditions may have affected the results of the one trial in
which more sugar cookies were consumed than chocolate chip.) On average, 3.2 chocolate
chip cookies were consumed during each trial, compared to only 1.9 sugar cookies. These
results appear to suggest a preference for chocolate chip cookies.
In addition, when looking at the total number of cookies consumed over all trials, 63% of all
cookies consumed were chocolate chip, compared to only 37% sugar cookies.
It was suggested to the experimenters that it may be the case that Mr. Smith simply does not
care for sugar cookies, and that another cookie (e.g. gingerbread or oatmeal-raisin) may fare
better when paired against the chocolate chip cookies. Future experiments in this field may
include several different types of cookies in order to further explore Mr. Smith’s cookie
preferences beyond the two varieties represented in this study.
Students could expand this experiment to other subjects besides Mr. Smith. This way the data
would be more significant when answering the question of which cookie would be consumed
in greater quantities. If students wanted to conduct a club sponsored fund raising bake sale
this data could be used to increase club profits.
Data Gaps
During one trial (Trial 5) a mouse was observed scurrying in the room where the cookies
were left for Mr. Smith. The mouse was not directly observed eating any of the cookies;
however, the possibility cannot be conclusively excluded, and may explain the anomalous
results obtained for that trial. To avoid situations where animals could eat the cookies the
samples should be placed in a closed container.
Cookies should be uniform in size and shape so as to not sway the subject from choosing one
cookie over another because of its appearance. Cookies should be measured before baking
and those cookies selected for the experiment should resemble each other in size and
appearance.
For purposes of this study, partially eaten cookies were counted as “consumed” if more than
50% of the cookie was missing. Such rounding errors are not considered likely to have
affected the overall results; however, a better method of cookie accounting may improve the
accuracy of precision of future studies.
Photos
Pillsbury Sugar Cookie dough in the
tube.
Photo taken by Dean Martin
Chocolate Chip cookies uniform size
and shape before baking.
Photo taken by Dean Martin
Sugar cookies after baking. Note
the uniform size and shape.
Photo taken by Frank Sinatra
Finished product
Chocolate chip cookies
Photo by Sammy Davis, Jr.
Finished product of Sugar
Cookies
Photo taken by Sammy Davis, Jr.
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