The next time you're on a first date, pay extra close attention to what your companion orders. If he or she favors something sweet, you can sit tight. Savory? Still safe. But you might want to call it a night if he or she orders something bitter.
According to a new study from Innsbruck University in Austria, it turns out psychopaths are more likely to favor bitter flavors.
After testing 1,000 people, the researchers found the ones who preferred bitter food and drink (like black coffee, radishes, celery and tonic water), were more likely to exhibit "Machiavellian" and "malevolent" characteristics. Other key words from the study? Psychopathy, narcissism and sadism. Sounds fun.
The participants were shown a list of foods ranging in flavor profiles, and asked to rate how much they liked each. They then completed four personality questionnaires that measured aggression, traits and sadistic tendencies. After cross-referencing the answers, the researchers concluded, "General bitter taste preferences emerged as a robust predictor for Machiavellianism, psychopathy, narcissism and everyday sadism.
Kindness, sympathy and cooperation, on the other hand, were all negatively correlated with with a preference for bitter tastes.
Christina Sagioglou, who authored the study, believes that "[eating bitter foods may be] compared to a roller coaster ride, where people enjoy things that induce fear," since in nature, bitterness signals plants may be poisonous and to stop eating.
Looks like that dark coffee is directly related to a dark personality.