Study claims that people who drink their coffee black are more likely to be psychopaths
People can be very particular about their tastes in coffee. Just go to any coffee shop in your town and you'll soon realise this, especially if you get stuck behind the guy ordering a skinny mocha frappe latte with light soy milk and an extra shot of sugar-free caramel syrup with some cinnamon sprinkles on top.
As for me, I like my coffee the same way I like my men: I don't like men.
Still, that hasn't precluded me from noticing the coffee-drinking habits of others (nor the dating habits of other female friends, for that matter), and I always find it a little strange that some people choose to have their coffee without anything else added to it. To me, it's always seemed too strong and bitter, and I can't ever help but assume that anyone who chooses to drink their coffee black is just a little - how do I put this gently? - odd.
And, according to one study, there might actually be some scientific truth behind this assumption, as those who prefer black coffee are more likely to have psychopathic tendencies.
The study, conducted by the University of Innsbruck in Austria and published in the journal Appetite, used a sample of almost 1,000 adults and quizzed them on their flavour preferences. Then, they gave those same adults personality tests in order to assess their proclivity for narcissism, psychopathy, sadism, and aggression.
According to the researchers, "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."
In other words: the people who preferred bitter tastes (i.e. black coffee) were more likely to have sadistic or psychopathic personality traits.
Meanwhile, the converse was true about people who had especially sweet tastes, as those who enjoyed milky or sugary coffee were found to have more "agreeable" personality traits such as sympathy, cooperation, and kindness.
Before you go jumping to conclusions about that guy from your office who drinks super strong coffee, however, there are a number of things that should be noted.
First of all, "bitter" is a subjective term, and taste preferences can be influenced by a whole number of things. The kinds of foods we favour also change over time, so there is every chance that someone who prefers black coffee right now will later prefer a sweeter beverage, and vice versa.
Most importantly, the researchers are not sure why there is a correlation between bitter taste preferences and psychopathic tendencies, and more studies would need to take place in order to work this out.
Essentially, drinking black coffee or eating bitter foods won't make you a psychopath, but a preference for those sorts of flavours might hint at sadistic or psychopathic personality traits.
Still, there is at least one benefit to hanging around with someone who drinks black coffee: when they're in front of you at Starbucks, you know it's not going to take a million years to prepare their order.