2538: Snack

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 20:42, 5 November 2021 by (talk)
Jump to: navigation, search
Although grad students, suddenly reminded that food exists, tend to just grab and devour both without further discussion.
Title text: Although grad students, suddenly reminded that food exists, tend to just grab and devour both without further discussion.


Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by an APPLE COOKIE - Please change this comment when editing this page. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.

Psychologists have a great interest in the study of altruism, and whether it truly exists. Undergraduate psychology students therefore, having spent too much time studying rather than interacting with people, might start to believe that when they are shown altruism, they are unknowing participants in a psychological study. Therefore, Randall proposes that if you want to freak out a psychology student, then you should behave altruistically towards them. The title text jokes that graduate students have so much work to do, they don't ponder the implications of altruism, but rather devour the food and return to their work.


Ambox notice.png This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.
Ponytail: Hey, do you want a cookie? Or an apple?
Cueball: Who are you!? Did the IRB approve this!? Is everyone here an actor!?
[Caption under the panel:]
The best prank you can play on Psychology students is just to offer them a snack.
comment.png add a comment! ⋅ comment.png add a topic (use sparingly)! ⋅ Icons-mini-action refresh blue.gif refresh comments!


IRB is Institutional Review Board. IRB approval is needed for biomedical research involving human subjects. https://www.fda.gov/regulatory-information/search-fda-guidance-documents/institutional-review-boards-frequently-asked-questions 20:51, 5 November 2021 (UTC)

I was wondering what the International Rugby Board had to do with the price of fish. Arachrah (talk) 22:26, 5 November 2021 (UTC)

I don't know who changed the bot's name to "Apple Cookie," but now I really want to know what that would taste like... -mezimm 20:52, 5 November 2021 (UTC)

Simply Google it (or possibly your favourite alternate of Bing, DuckDuckGo, AskJeeves, AltaVista, Yahoo, whatever else is actually around and hasn't been fatally out-Googled). One of the first things I got just now suggests a 20 mins bake using Brown sugar, apple, egg, baking soda, all purpose flour... but there are several others.
(I wasn't the Bot-changer, I must add, but I too now want some sort of apple biscuity-snack. And I only have some of the above ingredients at hand.) 21:41, 5 November 2021 (UTC)
Personally I'm completely OK with googling something on DuckDuckGo. I'm also ok with using escalators which are not from Otis, keeping tea in thermos not from Thermos, playing frisbee not from Wham-O, photoshoping images with Gimp, fasten clothes with velcro not from Velcro or zipper not from Universal Fastener Company, drinking Coke from Pepsi and generally with using trademarks and brands as generic words in cases where it makes the sentence more instead of less clear -- Hkmaly (talk) 00:17, 6 November 2021 (UTC)

Is altruism the only thing that psychologists study? It seems like psych students should be suspicious of just about any interactions. For instance, if they're invited to play in a game of chance, it could be a study of how they assess risk. Barmar (talk) 21:11, 5 November 2021 (UTC)

I understood the comic as if he was given a choice that will reveal something about his personality instead of the altruism interpretation. The two very different options led me to this idea, that he doesn't want to choose the cookie because it seems unhealthy or whatever. 23:04, 5 November 2021 (UTC)

I second the idea that what he's afraid of isn't altruism but choice. -- Hkmaly (talk) 00:17, 6 November 2021 (UTC)

I was given a choice of snack in one study that I participated in. But I don't know WHY. This might be too niche for me to understand.

I don't think this really has anything to do with altruism. The cookie vs apple thing is reminiscent of studies on self-control, and in general I think the idea is that a lot of psychological studies require participants to make choices, and the participants are also often not made aware of the true nature of the experiment to avoid skewing results. Esogalt (talk) 00:15, 6 November 2021 (UTC)

Given a few people seem to generally agree with me, I've been bold™ and changed the explanation to relegate "altruism" to a secondary interpretation. Some examples of specific studies would be great; I'm blanking right now. Esogalt (talk) 01:09, 6 November 2021 (UTC)

This seems like it would be more effective on an Ayn Rand fanboy than a psych major. GreatWyrmGold (talk) 05:32, 6 November 2021 (UTC)

What if the real lesson here is that all psychologists are just over-trained to be super cautious about considering EVERYTHING to be a psych experiment that requires ethics review? Maybe if the person offering snacks were ALSO a psychologist, they ACTUALLY WOULD BE REQUIRED to undergo IRB review and experiment documentation procedures and consent requirements.... JUST TO FIND OUT, as a matter of mild personal curiosity, which snack a specific person actually happened to prefer. 09:01, 8 November 2021 (UTC)

Being asked whether I consent to cookies is literally the most common question I get this entire decade so far. 21:51, 9 November 2021 (UTC)

With enough time and drive I'm sure we could come up with a beautifully compelling subtext for this comic involving cookies, Facebook, ambiguously ethical experimentation, Apple Inc., and the relationship therebetween. Esogalt (talk) 22:55, 9 November 2021 (UTC)