If you love eating dark chocolates or cannot resist the taste of black coffee, it may be a sign of dark personality traits, including Machiavellianism, sadism and narcissism, according to a new study.
A study authored by psychologists at the University of Innsbruck in Austria, led by Christina Sagioglou and her colleague Tobias Greitemeyer, found out that fondness for bitter-tasting food and drinks may be associated with antisocial personality traits.
About 1,000 participants with an average age of 35 were analysed in two experiments.
In the first, 500 men and women were shown a long list of food with equal numbers of sweet, salty, sour, and bitter and were asked to rate them on a six-point scale ranging from “dislike strongly” to “like strongly”.
The participants were also asked to answer questions relating to the “big five” personality traits – extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and emotionality stability.
Everyday sadism was assessed by the Comprehensive Assessment of Sadistic Tendencies.
The second experiment assessed their preferences for food tastes, except the list was reduced to 20 items — sweet and bitter. The participants also had the choice to choose “I don’t have an option” to each of the food items.
The study, which was published in scientific journal Appetite, revealed: ‘General bitter taste preferences emerged as a robust predictor for Machiavellianism, psychopathy, narcissism and everyday sadism.’
For people with sadistic traits, the consumption of bitter foods was comparable to a rollercoaster ride, where they enjoyed things that induced fear.