According to a study held by Christina Sagioglou and Tobias Greitemeyer from Innsbruck University, it seems that the preference for a bitter taste is associated with antisocial personality traits. They carried out two studies consisting of 953 American participants with the mean age of 35.65 years old and 48% being women.
The study’s abstract reports that the participants’ taste preferences were measured against personality traits such as Machiavellianism, psychopathy, narcissism, everyday sadism, trait aggression, and the Big Five factors of personality. “The results of both studies confirmed the hypothesis that bitter taste preferences are positively associated with malevolent personality traits, with the most robust relation to everyday sadism and psychopathy.”
Amongst the other flavours such as sweet, sour or salty, the more someone enjoyed the bitter taste, the more they had “sadistic proclivities.”
Specifically, coffee, beer, radishes, tonic water and celery received the highest rating for bitterness. The other foods that were categorised to be bitter were cottage cheese, ginger ale, grapefruit juice, rye bread, and tea. Those who enjoyed bitter foods scored high for extraversion and openness to experience out of the Big Five personalities. However, they scored particularly low on agreeableness. “In sum, general bitter taste preferences emerged as a robust predictor for Machiavellianism, psychopathy, narcissism, and everyday sadism.”
If someone you know is really into their G&Ts, maybe it’s because they’ve got those aforementioned traits. Scary, huh?