This is the real reason we dress up like zombies giant bottles of catsup. David Ng and Ben Cohen present a survey to determine your favorites in anticipation of this year’s all-important hierarchical delineation of candy goodness.

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Ranking candy hierarchy is properly and obviously the subject of natural science research. It is based on experimental proof, rigorous data analysis, and the metric of repeatability. This is so obvious that we’re not sure why we’re even mentioning it. Even so, even so. We’re open-minded guys.

So this past year we added in some social science methodology. Gave us something to do on Tuesdays. We had research assistants, undergrads mostly, but also our cousin from Duluth and then his neighbor’s son, he’s a good kid, he just needs time to get back on his feet, these things happen. The economy. The Mideast. Maybe he shouldn’t have been with Kaitlyn from the start. Whatever.

The point is, our research cohort did some oral history work. We did more qualitative research too. We conducted semi-structured interviews, archival investigations, some survey instruments, participant observation, lots of Netflix. More importantly, we did this to vet a new approach this year, where we’ll probe the minds of the public and conduct top of the line “multivariate quantitative techniques.” That’s the type of research goodness that is not only powerful, but on the syllable count, it actually goes to eleven.

So to summarize: As in what’s happening then, is that we’re culling proper survey data. Then we’ll do that goes-to-eleven-syllable-level analysis. It’s tremendous this. Seriously, even Kaitlyn would’ve approved.

For instance, this example of seemingly innocuous survey data:

(Candies checked)

FOR JOY: 100 Grand, Twix, Kit Kat, Snickers, Charleston Chews (in blood), lollipops.

FOR DESPAIR: lollipops, raisons.

(Comment left)

“CARAMEL CHOCOLATE THE RULZ! Raisins look like rabbit poo. I had a dream once where I sat in a bathtub full of ALMONDS. Also, I just want to be loved.”

…can be richly translated as such:

Favorite candy? It all depends on the context. Here’s one broad category: chocolate/caramel/with some kind of crunch or chew. I really love caramel. If I’m grabbing a candy bar at a gas station, I would first look for a 100 grand. If not, maybe a Snickers with almonds (I prefer non-peanut nuts to peanuts in all cases), then maybe a twix. I’ve been known to pick up a Kit-kat. Depending on my mood and proclivities, there is also a subcategory of chocolate covered toffee: Heath bars and Skor bars. Also, I have quite developed a hankering for these mini-chocolate covered Charleston Chews that come in a milk-dud-like box that you can find at CVS or Walgreens. Divine. They are most properly kept in the fridge or even freezer. I favor a little pain with my candy, too, I will admit. It’s the intensity of the chewiness. It ramps up my candy-eating experience. I would furthermore make a comment about sexual arousal here, but I can’t promise it would proper. Finally, there’s organic lollypops. Not because I like them, but because what? It’s these fake good parents who want to be foodie healthy and would otherwise ban sugar from their kids but then think, oh well, at least it should be organic sugar. Or something. I don’t really know what people are thinking when they think organic lollypops should exist. Not everything should exist: raisins for instance.

In any event, with these tools at our disposal, here is our first ever Candy Hierarchy survey. Please fill out to the best of your ability, and we’ll report back, as always, on Halloween.