The world is a scary place, especially if you watch the news. Sometimes it seems a terrorist, serial killer, identity thief or deranged dictator is lurking around every corner. Now, there’s a new addition to that list of bogeymen: black coffee drinkers.
People who prefer their coffee without cream and sugar often have psychopathic or sadistic tendencies, according to new research from the University of Innsbruck in Austria. The results are based on a survey of 1,000 people who were first asked about their taste preferences, then subjected to tests that measure such personality traits as narcissism, aggression, psychopathy, and sadism. The outcome suggested a link between a preference for bitter tastes, including black coffee, and those less-than-ideal characteristics.
Conversely, test participants who liked sweeter tastes, including coffee with cream and sugar, showed evidence of being kind, cooperative and sympathetic.
Don’t start avoiding that co-worker (or spouse) who takes their java black as night – yet. The researchers admit that “bitter” is a very hard term to define. Nor do they have the slightest idea why a taste for black coffee, radishes, and tonic water would correlate with psychological pathologies.
What’s more, our food tastes are changeable over time, and heavily influenced by outside factors, including our peers’ preferences and other social messaging. Indeed, it can be argued that the two greatest marketing success stories in human history are coffee and scotch whiskey. No one likes either product the first time they take a swig. But that often changes.
Bottom line, the new acquaintance you meet for coffee at Starbucks probably isn’t a psycho just because they order a black dark roast. Now, if they go crazy on the barista for getting their name wrong on the cup…