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Ig Nobel prize 2022: it’s better to be lucky than smart, how heart rate reveals romantic feelings, and why ice cream works as cryotherapy

BMJ 2022; 378 doi: (Published 16 September 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;378:o2255
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. New York

Studies that found that it’s better to be lucky than smart, the link between heart rate and romantic feelings, the effectiveness of ice cream as cryotherapy, problems with legal jargon, and why ducklings line up in row were among the winners of this year’s Ig Nobel prizes.

Researchers from the University of Catania in Italy won the economics prize, their second Ig Nobel award, for showing that success most often goes to the luckiest people rather than the smartest.1 Their first prize in 2010 was for demonstrating mathematically that organisations would become more efficient if they promoted people at random.

Lead author Alessandro Pluchino told The BMJ, “Talent is necessary for success, but it’s not enough. You also have to be lucky, to be in the right place at the right moment to catch an opportunity that happens by chance.” He and his co-authors pointed out that talent is distributed in a …

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