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Ice Cream Sales “Lead” to Homicide: Why?

Ice Cream Sales “Lead” to Homicide: Why?

In a study [1] done in 2009, it had been speculated that homicide rates were higher when ice cream sales were on the rise. In 2006, a similar study found that the rate of death by drowning was also higher when ice cream sales were hitting their peak. What gives?

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      Does our consumption of ice cream directly correlate with the rate of death? As we still have one hot month of summer left, I question our safety in light of this disturbing evidence.

      Surely if death rates are on the rise when ice cream sales are at their peak, there has to be a connection. Should we ban ice cream at once?  Or perhaps there is a different connection between the two that we aren’t seeing.

      Correlation isn’t the same as causality

      When two unrelated items are tied together, they are either bound by correlation, or by causality. In most cases, many correlations are just coincidences. But just because one factor seems like it influences another, it doesn’t mean that it actually does.

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      Correlation means X and Y change together

      In the case of correlation, it just may be a coincidence. Just because you were able to identify a connection, it doesn’t mean that the connection is actually there. For example, whenever Apple sales increase, like in the case of the release of a new phone, the rate of death by falling down the stairs also rises.

        Obviously this isn’t a direct connection. The sales people or the phone themselves are not actually pushing people down the stairs. But because Apple advocates get riled up into a frenzy every time a new phone is released, they trample each other to get their phone. Death by stairs is an outcome of the sale, but the sale does not cause the death.

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        Causality means X makes Y happen

        In this case the initial factor will indeed create an outcome. For instance, say there was a major leak in a pipe line, dumping millions of gallons of oil into the surrounding waterways. Not only will the environmental repercussions be vast, but the price of oil will go up due to a sudden drop in supply.  The oil spill directly caused the price of oil to increase.

        Consider underlying factors before drawing a connection

        In some cases, seemingly unrelated factors could actually be related on some level. In the event of homicide rates increasing alongside ice cream sales, the connection is the weather. On a nice sunny day, when many people are out enjoying themselves and cooling down with a bit of ice cream, predators are on the prowl. When it’s sunny, more people are outside, so there is a wider selection of victims.

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          There is no causal relationship between the ice cream itself and the rate of homicide, but the sunny weather brings the two factors together.

          Don’t draw connections too hastily.

          After finding a correlation, don’t be so quick to draw a conclusion. The correlation is just the first step. First, consider the underlying factors at hand that could be causing the outcome. Then, you can start drawing your conclusions and testing the water to see if it holds truth.

          Have you ever had a “lucky” pair of pants, pen, or some other item that you thought improved your luck? Chances are you did excel with the aid of your lucky charm, but it didn’t actually give you luck. Your boost of confidence and increased focus is what actually brought you success.

          Or let’s say that your boyfriend always seems extra happy on the days that he works with a certain female coworker. You try not to be jealous, but the connection is clearly there. So finally you bring it up, accusing him of having an emotional affair with his coworker. Little did you know that his coworkers husband would regularly bring in their kid, and it reminded him of how he’d like to have a family with you one day. So yes, he does seem happier on the days he works with her, but not for the reasons you initially thought.

          Just be considerate when drawing conclusions. You don’t want to be too quick to jump to the wrong one and make a connection where there isn’t one. Consider all of the factors before making a decision.

          Reference

          More by this author

          Leon Ho

          Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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          Last Updated on May 23, 2019

          Ditch Work Life Balance and Embrace Work Life Harmony

          Ditch Work Life Balance and Embrace Work Life Harmony

          How do you usually go about your day?

          Do you wake up in the morning, get ready for work, and then spend the whole day looking forward to being at home and unwinding?

          We often hear about work life balance – having a good balance between work and personal time. Whilst this may sound like a smart idea, it can also imply that we should dedicate at least half of our time to work–and sacrifice time for our “personal life”.

          To me, that seems…off balance. Because, the truth is, it’s nearly impossible to split your time equally between the two. And, you may end up stressing out if you’re not able to meet that expectation of balance.

          Instead, why not think of having work life harmony instead?

          With this mindset, you can actually integrate work into your life in a way that feels more complete. This way, you don’t need to view work and having personal time as separate.

          So, how do you achieve work life harmony?

          Work Life Harmony Explained

          The difference between work life balance and work life harmony is pretty simple. With the former, there is an implication that you have to sacrifice your “life” for work. But, this is the worst way to go about things! How can you truly be at peace in life if you dread 8 hours of your day?

          Work life harmony on the other hand, allows your work to be a part of your life. This means that you can choose to be happy both at home, and at work! Work no longer needs to be seen as the ‘bad’ or un-fun activity.

          Having work life harmony also ensures you’re truly present in whatever place you find yourself.

          Just take a look at Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon for example.

          He uses a non traditional approach to work by making time for breakfast every morning with his family, doesn’t set his alarm before going to bed, schedules surprisingly few meetings, and still puts aside a few minutes every day to wash his own dishes.

          He believes that all his staff should stop trying to achieve a ‘balance’ in their work and personal lives as that implies a trade off. Instead, he envisions a more holistic relationship between the two.

          As the world’s richest man, he must be doing something right!

          Rethink Time Management

          Now, when we think of striking a balance, we usually associate it with time, don’t we? How much time are we spending at work versus how much time are we spending in our personal lives?Are we taking enough time to be with our loved ones, to do meaningful activities with others or even for ourselves, or are we just dedicating all our time to work?

          This is the so-called-balance that many struggle with.

          With work life harmony, we learn to rethink time management. By re-assessing how you manage your time, you’ll have a lot more of it. It’s incredible how much time can get wasted over the period of a day–especially when you’re not accurately tracking it.

          Unfortunately, unless you’re consciously making an effort, your brain is not always the best at making accurate judgement calls when it comes to prioritizing. It tends to have a bias towards short term benefits and short term costs.

          As there are often many more options our brains link to short term benefit; when you’re trying to focus on a task that gives you a long term benefit, that task usually becomes low priority. This is otherwise known as Priority Chaos.

          In order to overcome this and be in better control of your time, identify the tasks that need the most focus to get accomplished. If it’s a big task, then it’s good to break it down into smaller bite-sized actions that will provide you with a clearer short term benefit.

          When setting up tasks, give yourself a time limit. The brain has a bias towards short term benefits, and your attention span is limited, so if your tasks are going to take ages to complete, you’ll end up losing focus… and wasting time.

          Once you have all your tasks written down, it’s time to prioritize them. Since you have a time limit, your focus should be on the top priority tasks. By doing this, you will already be able to get more done in less time at work!

          Have Passion for What You Do

          Managing your time is important in achieving that work life harmony. But, perhaps of greater importance, is loving what you do in life. One of the most effective ways to achieve a work life harmony is to really enjoy, or find a purpose, in what you do for a living. Even though everyone isn’t always lucky enough to find a position that pays them for pursuing their passion, you can strive to find meaning in what you are already doing, or pursue something new entirely!

          For example, say you work at an office that sells paper. While many people wouldn’t consider this a world changing pursuit, I beg to differ. Think of all the individuals in the world that rely on paper. From creative types to quantum physics experts, your role at your workplace brings incredible value to many many people all over the world. You will have, without a doubt, helped bring a new idea into existence. Several new ideas to be precise.

          So have a think about what you’re doing now. Is it something that allows you to embrace your passion?

          Or perhaps you might not even know what it is that you love or enjoy doing. Why not explore and reflect on what gives you joy and contentment? Is there an area or industry that you could see yourself exploring to experience that fulfillment?

          Can you find a deeper purpose in what you’re already doing?

          When you’re able to find meaning in your work, you’re that much closer to achieving work life harmony.

          Don’t Be Intimidated By Obstacles and Limitations

          Creating work life harmony is also about understanding yourself–which includes your limitations and past obstacles–as this allows you to become more resilient.

          If you never had to experience struggles, challenges or setbacks, then you would never be forced to adapt and mature. So in theory, having to face obstacles in life is actually quite necessary.

          Most of us think of setbacks and obstacles as negative. Though, if you’re able to maintain an optimistic attitude, you’ll almost always have a higher chance of success of overcoming those obstacles to reach your eventual goal.

          Your attitude towards setbacks will define the outcome of whether you rise from the challenge or remain stuck in it. So, in order to achieve work life harmony, it’s important to have a resilient attitude as challenges will always come your way–especially when you strive to integrate work into your life, and not a separate or dominant part of life.

          Delegate When You Need To

          Of course, when you want to increase productivity and minimize the time or effort spent, a great way to do so is to delegate!

          If you spend a lot of time doing tasks on your own that could be delegated to others (whether at work or at home) you’re losing a lot of precious free time that could otherwise be spent elsewhere.

          At the end of the day, we all have a limited amount of time. So we should all be striving to create a harmonious work and living situation where we can find meaning in all that we do.

          While an overall goal may be meaningful, not all of the milestones or tasks needed to get there may be meaningful. That’s because we have our strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes. Not every task is going to be enjoyable or easy to complete. That’s where delegation comes in.

          Delegation simply allows you to leverage time from an external source, thus giving you opportunities to increase your own quality of time. Keep in mind that delegation should be done with deliberate attention, otherwise you may end up over relying on others.

          If you find that you’re running into the problem of over delegating, then it may be time to re-evaluate your motivation for doing whatever it is that you’re doing.

          Embrace the Circle and Become Happier and More Productive

          Living in harmony is about feeling good about the ways in which you spend your time, despite how busy you may be.Your switch from work mode to a more personal mode should be effortless. It’s about integrating your personal life and the things you love into your busy work life!

          It all begins with the shift in perspective. Understanding what your passions are, and learning to be resilient, before taking a different approach to the way you manage your time and everyday tasks.

          These are steps that you can start taking to move away from balance to harmony. 

          Featured photo credit: Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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