Web Desk)- Black coffee. The everyday drink of high powered businessmen, average Joes and university students. And now as it turns out deranged lunatics. According to a new study conducted by the University of Innsbruck by renowned psychologists Christina Sagioglou and Tobias Greitemeyer people who liked it black were far more likely to exhibit symptoms of “Machiavellianism, psychopathy, narcissism, and everyday sadism.”
The study, which was recently published in Appetite magazine, claimed to have found a direct correlation between bitter flavoring and antisocial tendencies by looking at the taste preferences of over 1000 people. In the study participants were first asked how much they enjoyed food and drink that was sweet, sour, salty or bitter. Later on they were given personality tests that rated them on manipulation, aggression as well as the big 5 personality traits(extraversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism).Finally participants were tested for sadism with statements such as “I enjoy tormenting people” and “I sometimes replay my favorite scenes from gory slasher films. “At the end of the study researchers looked at the findings and found that people who people who liked bitter tastes such as those of coffee, beer, tonic water or radishes were more likely to have antisocial personalities than those who liked sweeter or lighter flavors.
The link between food and personality type is nothing new. Previous studies conducted by sociological researchers have shown that not only is there a direct relation between what you eat and how you feel but also between what you eat and how others perceive you to be. For example an old study concluded that people who liked sweet foods were likely to be seen by strangers as agreeable and “nice”. Another study found out that people who momentarily consumed a sweet food (like candy) were more likely to temporarily display signs of helpful behavior than those who ate or drank something bitter (such as black coffee).
While the study by Christina and Tobias has received a lot of positive feedback it was also mocked by some users on social media who claimed that the study results are akin to saying that everybody eats. As one Facebook user from South Africa jokingly said that “tyrannical dictators, mass murderers and other ne er-do-wells are known to drink water and consume food”
Nonetheless the study results are important and show that food can be used as another tool for determining personality types and traits.