If your go-to drink is a Negroni or an IPA, you might be an antisocial psychopath.
Psychology researchers at the University of Innsbruck in Austria have found that people who prefer bitter tastes such as beer, tonic water and black coffee also tend to express malevolent personality traits.
The study surveyed approximately 1,000 people of varied ages and education in two groups. Participants were asked to rank a variety of foods—from bacon to chocolate cake to vinegar—on a six-point preference scale. In the second study, participants were also asked to rank the foods on their level of sweetness, saltiness, sourness and bitterness. Then the participants completed four different personality questionnaires that measured aggression, sadism and emotional stability, among other personality traits.
The study found the more people enjoy bitter foods and drink the more dark their personality tends to be. According to the findings, “bitter taste preferences emerged as a robust predictor for Machiavellianism, psychopathy, narcissism and everyday sadism.” This could be because, in nature, bitterness is generally a warning that a substance is toxic and shouldn’t be consumed. Therefore, the surveyors concluded, those that enjoy bitter tastes might get a subconscious thrill from eating something “dangerous.”
Because the study was small and the data were self-reported, more research is needed to expand on and confirm these findings. And as of yet, there’s no word on whether people who despise bitter drinks were actually more humane and kind.
Although a preference for bitter food and drink may not be reason alone to think someone is a psychopath, it can provide a subtle hint at their deep dark personality. So the next time you’re at the bar, look at what everyone else is ordering—you might learn a lot.
Are you one of the people that can’t get enough bitterness? Satisfy your ominous cravings with these cocktails:
Stranger in the Alps
Crime and Punishment
House of Payne
Blood Orange Margarita
Golden Gate Spritz
Dieci e Lode
Tazza Di Vita
C&B Old Fashioned