Discover Magazine’s Discoblog is doing an ode to college professor/researcher/self-described “informal” numbers cruncher John W. Trinkaus this week. Until about 15 minutes ago, I’d never heard of the guy. But a few Google searches later, I turned up this 2004 profile from Fortune Magazine, which explains that Trinkaus has made a bit of career out of quantifying human behavior—counting a show of hands, so to speak—on all sorts of subjects: grocery checkout habits, stop sign compliance, waiting times at doctors offices. You get the picture.
Discoblog unearthed a 1991 Trinkaus report which looked at the preference for Brussels sprouts among business school students. A very specific sample set, yes, but I’m assuming it was the best one he had at his disposal at the time. Anyway, his research found that half of respondents found the veggie to be “very repulsive” or “somewhat repulsive,” 40 percent were indifferent, and about 10 percent (that’s rounding up!) actually liked them.