There’s a reason unpleasant people are referred to as ‘bitter’.
According to a study from Austria’s University of Innsbruck, having a fondness for bitter foods could mean you have psychopathic tendencies – few notches above simply unpleasant.
So, just how psychopathic are we talking? Worryingly so, as it turns out. Those who are partial to otherwise harmless pleasures like black coffee and tonic water are apparently more likely to display signs of Machiavellianism, sadism and narcissism, which is about as concerning a trio of character traits as they come.
The authors asked participants to complete several personality tests (including aggression levels based on statements like “given enough provocation, I may hit someone”) and identify preferred foods. They also answered questions relating to the “Big 5” personality dimensions of extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness and emotional stability, and were evaluated for tendencies towards “everyday sadism.”
“Particularly robust associations were found for everyday sadism,” they concluded about the connection between bitter taste preferences and unpleasant character traits.
So if you wake up in the morning convinced the world needs a dictator, and that you should be that dictator, and that your role as dictator is to harm others, it may be wise to start taking your coffee with milk.