Ig Nobel Prize 2018 – research that make you laugh


In a few weeks this year’s Nobel Prize winners will be announced, but last week the ceremony for an alternative Nobel Prize was held: The Ig Nobel Prize ceremony. The Ig Nobel Prize honor achievements that make people laugh, and then think, with focus on unusual and imaginative research.

You can read a summary of all ten prizes if you go to the Ig Nobel Prize blog, but here we name three of the ten prizes that were handed out:

The prize in anthropology went to research conducted at Lund University; research on monkeys where three researchers collected evidence of zoos showing that chimpanzees imitate humans to the same extent, and at least as well, as humans imitates chimpanzees. Here you can find the article describing the research: Persson, T, Sauciuc, G.A. & Madsen, E. (2018) Spontaneous cross-species imitation in interactions between chimpanzees and zoo visitors. Primates 59(1), ss. 19-29.

The prize in literature goes to research that illustrates how users use certain literature, namely manuals. Researchers at Queensland University of Technology have studied users’ use of manuals for complicated products, and among other things conclude that younger people tend to be less likely to read the manual. Here’s a small piece of the abstract to the article (which unfortunately is not openly available, or available through library subscriptions):

We found that manuals are not read by the majority of people, and most do not use all the features of the products that they own and use regularly. Men are more likely to do both than women, and younger people are less likely to use manuals than middle-aged and older ones. More educated people are also less likely to read manuals. Over-featuring and being forced to consult manuals also appears to cause negative emotional experiences.

The price in medicine goes to research on methods to get kidney stones to pass through the body. In the current research, the effect of a rollercoaster ride on kidney stones has been studied. And it was found that a rollercoaster ride can be a way to get kidney stones to pass, and the best results are given if you take a rear seating position in the train.The article describing this research can be found here: Mitchell M.A., Wartinger D.D. (2016). Validation of a Functional Pyelocalyceal Renal Model for the Evaluation of Renal Calculi Passage While Riding a Roller Coaster. The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association 116(10), ss. 647-52.

Now are we just waiting for the announcements of the winners of the real Nobel Prize. The first winner will be presented at 1 October 2018.

Text: Katharina Nordling
Photo– chimpanzee: Kelly Sikkema, Unsplash
Foto – rollercoaster: Multa Media, Unsplash

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