If you enjoy a gin and tonic, black coffee or any other bitter tastes then we are sorry to inform you that you could be a psychopath.
At least that’s what a group of researchers in Austria have discovered. A study conducted at Innsbruck University discovered that enjoying bitter flavours can be linked to a number of less than desirable traits.
These include sadism, narcissism, psychoticism and Machiavellianism.
The study, which assessed 953 people, asked individuals to rank a variety of different types of food and drink on a six-point scale. Food featured in the study had bitter, sour, salty and sweet tastes.
In contrast, the people in the first test also took a second study where they were asked personality questions which measured their levels of emotional stability and “tendency towards everyday sadism.”
Questions involved things such as “I enjoy tormenting people” and “I sometimes replay my favourite scenes from gory slasher films.”
When the data from the two studies were compiled they discovered that those people who preferred bitter tasting food and drink also showed more antisocial tendencies.
Dr Christian Sagioglou and Dr Tobias Greitemeyer, who conducted the study wrote in their assessment:
The results of both studies confirmed the hypothesis that bitter taste preferences are positively associated with malevolent personality traits, with the most robust relation to everyday sadism and psychopathy.
Regression analyses confirmed that this association holds when controlling for sweet, sour and salty taste preferences and that bitter taste preferences are the overall strongest predictor compared to the other taste preferences.
The data thereby provide novel insights into the relationship between personality and the ubiquitous behaviours of eating drinking by consistently demonstrating a robust relation between increased enjoyment of bitter foods and heightened sadistic proclivities.
Unsurprisingly, their data also showed that people who displayed more sympathetic and kind emotions were less likely to get on with more sadistic people.
So next time you order a G & T or fancy a bit of dark chocolate just be aware of what it might be saying about your personality.