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11 Oct, 2015 15:13

Like your coffee black? You may be a psychopath, study says

Like your coffee black? You may be a psychopath, study says

Vain, selfish, psychopathic, everyday sadist – this is what you might be if you prefer bitter foods like strong black coffee or tonic water, Austrian researchers discovered.

The Innsbruck University scientists tested over 1,000 people during their study.

The first experiment involved about 500 people, 35 years old on average, who were asked to rate their food preferences, and then completed four personality tests.

The tests checked aggression levels, asking the subjects to assess statements such as: “Given enough provocation, I may hit someone.” Also, other specific personality traits were explored (“I tend to be callous or insensitive”), in particular the “big five”: extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and emotional stability.

READ MORE: Coca-Cola ‘trying to manipulate public’ on sugar-obesity link

Last but not least, the participants were asked to complete the Comprehensive Assessment of Sadistic Tendencies – yes, you’ve read it right.

So, what did the scientists find out?

"The results suggest that how much people like bitter-tasting foods and drinks is stably tied to how dark their personality is,” the study says.

The new data proves that “bitter taste preferences are linked to malevolent personality traits.”

And those traits are really scary. “We found particularly robust correlations with everyday sadism . . . [which is] a construct related to benign masochism - the enjoyment of painful activities,” the researchers say.

So, why do the psychopathic personalities like bitter foods?

Christina Sagioglou, the author of the study, said that eating bitter foods may be “compared to a rollercoaster ride where people enjoy things that induce fear.”