Prefer things bitter over sweet? Your personality may have similar leanings. A recent study found that people who showed a preference for bitter flavors like those found in coffee, beer and radishes were also more likely to exhibit not-so-sweet personality traits like sadism and psychopathy—though, since the results only show a correlation, maybe eating all those bitter foods is what made them so unstable to begin with.
Researchers from the University of Innsbruck in Austria conducted two online surveys with a total of 953 participants. Subjects were first asked about food preferences before being given a number of personality tests. Even after controlling for other taste preferences, “General bitter taste preferences emerged as a robust predictor for Machiavellianism, psychopathy, narcissism and everyday sadism,” Yahoo News quoted the study’s authors as saying.
“To our knowledge, this is the first research linking taste preferences to antisocial personality traits,” the authors wrote in their paper, published in the journal Appetite. Interestingly, the researchers posit that taste preferences may also contribute to “the development of personality”—meaning it’s possible that when you force your kids to eat their broccoli, not only are you making them healthy, you’re also making them little sadists.