Coffee: Bitter Tastes Linked To Psychopathic Tendencies

First Posted: Oct 14, 2015 11:54 AM EDT

Want your coffee black? Black like your heart! (Wait, what?)

A new study published in the journal Appetite shows that an individual's eating and drinking preferences may be linked to certain psychopathic tendencies--particularly when it comes to a preference for bitter foods.

Of course, eating and drinking satisfy a very fundamental need that keeps us alive. Yet is it also possible that our sense of taste could also be connected to our personality, somehow?

Researchers found that participants who preferred bitter foods were more likely to have sadistic, psychopathic and/or aggressive tendencies. On the other hand, opposite tastes did not mean that participants carried more kind or affable tendencies.

In this recent study, researchers at Innsbruck University in Austria surveyed participants regarding their taste for bitter or sweet coffee. Over 500 men and women were asked their preferences regarding specific food samples, including chocolate cake, bacon, radishes and vinegar, according to The Independent. Then, they were asked to take three personality assessment quizzes that looked for certain personality traits. The quizzes evaluated levels of aggression, measuring for narcissism, psychopathy and Machiavellianism (The Dark Triad), everyday sadism and extraversion, emotional stability, openness, conscientiousness and agreeableness (the Big Five), according to Popular Science

Professor Christina Sagioglou, lead author of the study, compared eating bitter foods "to a rollercoaster ride where people enjoy things that induce fear."

"To quote Paul Rozin for an explanation: 'For the case of innately aversive foods, there may be pleasure from the fact that the body is signaling rejection, but the person knows there is no real threat'," he added.

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