In this world of pumpkin-spiced lattes and ginger-snapped cookie mochas, there still are, believe or not, people who enjoy an unspoiled cup of steaming hot coffee. Around 35%, actually. But what how you take your coffee say about a person? Most would assume very little, but a new study that was recently published in Appetite disagrees. The results showed that bitter taste preferences are “positively associated with malevolent personality traits, with the most robust relation to everyday sadism and psychopathy”.
Researchers at Innsbruck University in Austria surveyed 500 men and women, reports the Independent. They first had the participants rate food and drink items that were categorized as bitter, sweet, salty and sour. They the participants completed four personality questionnaires. The first two measured aggression levels and assessed personality traits of Machiavellianism, psychopathy and narcissism. The 3rd and 4th questionnaires included questions related to the “Big 5” personality dimensions of extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness and emotional stability and the Comprehensive Assessment of Sadistic Tendencies, which evaluates tendencies towards “everyday sadism”.
The results showed that people who were partial to bitter tastes, such as black coffee, were more likely to display signs of Machiavellianism, sadism and narcissism, meaning they were more prone to being duplicitous, vain, selfish and deriving pleasure from other’s pain.
Keep in mind that the bitter category also included beer and tonic water, so that might put most of us in the psychopath category.