by Alex Poletti
Photo by Joe Robbins/AP Photo
A groundbreaking study conducted by Northwestern University shows that Jellystone Park resident Yogi Bear’s catch phrase has a newfound universality, as the study found conclusive evidence that Yogi is smarter than the average Chicago Bear.
“After conducting the Wonderlic test with Yogi and comparing it against the mean score of the 53-man roster for the Chicago Bears, the results are hard to argue against,” Mark Beeman, the psychology professor at Northwestern who helmed the study, says. “To a degree of statistical significance, Yogi Bear ranks above the statistical average for the team.”
The study came about after scientists decided to test the Hanna-Barbera character’s long-standing hypothesis that he is, indeed, smarter than the av-er-age bear. For years, the statement has been taken as axiomatic fact, but the intelligence of Chicago’s famed football team provided the first true challenge to the hypothesis in several years.
“It wasn’t until the signing of Khalil Mack and the trade for Nick Foles that we started to wonder if the Bears really could compete,” Beeman says. “I mean, not in the football sense, that’s clearly out of the question. But as a Chicagoan, I thought I’d give them some chance of winning something.”
The study tested several measures of intelligence, including the Wonderlic—the standardized test used by the NFL—IQ tests, and other measures of problem solving and pattern recognition.
“The real determining factor was our attempts to quantify the intangible elements that make Yogi Bear so smart,” graduate student and research assistant Laura Fernandez says. “We have a groundbreaking system at Northwestern that charts eloquence and vocabulary, and Yogi’s propensity to enjoy his pronunciation of long words is unparalleled.”
Yogi Bear also beat the Bears in his recognition and identification abilities. When presented with a pic-a-nic basket, Yogi Bear was over a half of a second faster to correctly identify the object than any position group on the Chicago team.
The question now arises of, with Yogi’s newfound intellectual superiority, whether Yogi would be a good free agent signing, taking him out of Jellystone and putting him in Soldier Field.
“Though he makes his own path, he never challenges the authority of Ranger Smith,” Beeman explains. “This makes him a perfect scheme fit for Matt Nagy, perhaps the only person whiter than Ranger Smith in the fictional canon or real life.”