Gin and tonic was once a drink for old ladies, reminiscent of the popular Madam and Eve comics of yesteryear. Within recent years it has seen a resurgence with the youth, and gin bars have popped up across the country to accommodate this rise in popularity.
Interestingly enough, a new study suggests that people who enjoy bitter tastes like gin and tonic or black coffee may be more inclined to display antisocial traits related to the big five factors of personality: Machiavellianism, psychopathy, narcissism, everyday sadism and trait aggression.
Austrian researchers at Innsbruck University asked 953 people to rank a variety of sweet, sour and salty foods and drinks on a six-point scale. They then took a second test in which they were asked personality questions to measure their level of emotional stability.
Questions listed included ‘I have threatened people I know’, ‘Given enough provocation, I may hit another person’, ‘I tend to manipulate others to get my way’, ‘I tend to be callous or insensitive’, and ‘I tend to want others to pay attention to me’.
The studies found that those that enjoyed bitter tastes were more prone to sadistic behaviour.
“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. Regression analyses confirmed that this association holds when controlling for sweet, sour, and salty taste preferences and that bitter taste preferences are the overall strongest predictor compared to the other taste preferences,” the study reads.
“The data thereby provide novel insights into the relationship between personality and the ubiquitous behaviors of eating and drinking by consistently demonstrating a robust relation between increased enjoyment of bitter foods and heightened sadistic proclivities.”
Next time you’re out for drinks, you’ll think twice before ordering a G&T.