Having an attraction and fondness for bitter tastes could mean you have psychopathic tendencies, according to a new study.
Researchers from Innsbruck University in Austria found that people who enjoy bitter food and drink such as coffee, dark chocolate and gin & tonic are more likely to possess tendencies of “Machiavellianism, psychopathy, narcissism, and everyday sadism”.
In two separate experiments, 1,000 participants were asked to examine and rank a long list of food and drink. After this, they completed personality questionnaires to measure their levels of psychopathic tendencies. This involved rating how much they agreed or disagreed with statements like “I enjoy tormenting people”.
According to the study’s author Christina Sagioglou, most people are put off by bitter tasting things because we associate them with wild, poisonous foods. Fearless psychopaths, however, are supposedly attracted by this.
Christina said: “Everyday sadism is a construct related to benign Masochism – the enjoyment of painful activities – which was first described and investigated by psychologist Paul Rozin.
“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 signalling rejection, but the person knows there is no real threat’.”
Researchers also said agreeableness, the degree to which a person is kind, sympathetic and cooperative, was correlated negatively with a partiality for bitter foods.
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