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Black Coffee Drinkers are More Likely to be Psychopaths

— October 15, 2015

Researchers discovered that there may be a link between favoring bitter tastes, such as black coffee, and less-than-positive personality traits. In fact, the study showed that those who prefer black coffee are more likely to be vain, manipulative, selfish, sadistic and even psychopathic.

A pair of researchers released a study last month that shed some light on black coffee drinkers, like me. Sadly, that light exposed a potential for less-than-positive personality traits. What the duo found is that black coffee drinkers are more likely to be psychopaths. Ahem. No one check my browser history, please.

The Innsbruck University team’s research suggests that those who like bitter tastes, such as black coffee, have a tendency to be vain, selfish, manipulative, sadistic and even psychopathic. Data was collected from 1,000 participants who gave their taste preferences and finished personality trait tests, in an effort to determine Machiavellianism, a psychological term describing dark and sadistic personalities.


The study also showed that it’s not just black coffee, but other bitter foods such as celery, radishes and tonic water, that are more likely “linked to malevolent personality traits … We found particularly robust correlations with everyday sadism.” Those who turned up their noses at bitter tastes had more “agreeable” personality traits, such as kindness.

“The sense of taste is innately hedonic and biased. A preference for sweet tastes and an aversion to bitter and sour tastes have been demonstrated in human newborns and primate infants and adults. Indeed, even oysters and protozoans reject bitter tasting food. These preferences are grounded in omnivore phylogenesis [evolutionary development]. Survival depends on the consumption of sweet and the rejection of bitter substances, because sweet foods typically feature high caloric density whereas bitterness is often a marker for toxins.”

There are those who may say that they drink their coffee black only to save the extra calories from cream & sugar and other flavorings. After all, coffee is known to have some healthy benefits, such as improved brain function.

Researchers hope that this study may assist them in further determining any connections between eating behavior and personality traits.

So, the next time your date orders his coffee black, you may just want to take a cab home. Unless he’s watching his weight, of course.


Study: People who drink black coffee more likely to be psychopathic

Sagioglou C. & Greitemeyer T., Individual differences in bitter taste preferences are associated with antisocial personality traits, Appetite (2015), doi: 10.1016/ j.appet.2015.09.031.


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