Chemmie Squier | Acting Fashion & Beauty Editor | Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Like Your Coffee Black? This Study Says You Could Be A Psychopath

Like Your Coffee Black? This Study Says You Could Be A Psychopath

The Debrief: Same goes for tonic water, beer and celery. Awesome.

Hey you there, drinking your coffee. How do you take it? White with one sugar? A splash of milk? Black? If it’s the latter, I have another question for you: are you a psychopath? Well, that escalated quickly.

A new study, published in the journal Appetite, found that ‘general bitter taste preferences were positively associated with psychopathy, everyday sadism, trait aggression, and negatively associated with agreeableness.’

In other words, people who like bitter tastes were more likely to display psychopathic, sadistic and agressive characteristics. 

The study, led by Professor Christina Sagioglou from Innsbruck University, Austria, involved 500 men and women. They were shown a list of sweet, salty, sour and bitter foods (such as vinegar, chocolate cake, bacon and radishes) and were asked to rate them on a six-point scale ranging from ‘dislike strongly’ to ‘like strongly’.

After this, they took four separate personality questionnaires. The first measured levels of aggression, the next involved them rating statements which assessed the traits of Machiavellianism, psychopathy and narcissism; they then went on to answer questions about extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness and emotional stability (the so-called ‘big five’ personality traits) and finally, they took the ‘Comprehensive Assessment of Sadistic Tendencies’ test which evaluates tendencies towards ‘everyday sadism’. 

Their findings were that ‘everyday sadism (and with a strong tendency psychopathy) was consistently and robustly associated with general bitter taste preferences.’ And the opposite was also true, with researchers discovering that ‘agreeableness’, the degree to which a person is kind, sympathetic and cooperative, was negatively correlated to liking bitter foods.  

As reported by The Independent, Dr Sagioglou said eating bitter foods may be ‘compared to a rollercoaster ride where people enjoy things that induce fear.’ This goes part of the way to explain why those with sadistic tendencies, and thus the enjoyment of pain, would find these flavours pleasing.

Interesting, sure. Cause for concern if you like to start your morning with a black coffee? Probably not. Because, simply put, if you’re worried about being a psychopath, you almost certainly aren’t one.

Like this? Then you might also be interested in:

Coffee Is Giving You An Anxiety Problem

How To Make Great Coffee At Work

There’s Going To Be A Coffee Shortage. The Time To Panic Is Now.

Follow Chemmie on Twitter @chemsquier

Tags: Food Glorious Food, Science Says