The Drink Order That Science Says Identifies People as Psychopaths

Updated 09/29/17
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Camilla Styles

We sometimes judge others by their drink of choice. Rosé drinkers come with certain stereotypes, just as someone who drinks whiskey on the rocks falls into a very different category. But last year a study out of Innsbruck University in Austria, highlighted recently by Body & Soul, takes this up a notch, asserting that your favorite drink could say something a lot more serious about who you are.

The study finds that people who like bitter things like gin (but also coffee and dark chocolate, which makes up a great sum of us) are more likely to have psychopathic tendencies. The researchers had 500 men and women rate their preference for salty, sweet, sour, or bitter foods on a scale from one to six and complete a personality survey that included topics like how likely they were to hit someone or if they enjoyed tormenting people. They then performed the same test with another set of 500 people and the results were the same.

Christine Sagioglou, the study's author, describes how most people are put off by bitter tasting things because biologically we associate them with wild, poisonous foods. Psychopaths, however, are attracted to this. "To quote [University of Pennsylvania professor of psychology] Paul Rozin for an explanation: 'For the case of innately aversive foods, there may be pleasure from the fact that the body is signaling rejection, but the person knows there is no real threat," she said. It's important to note that the checklist of psychopathic traits also includes charisma, charm, and mental toughness—not inherently bad in and of themselves.

In fact, they're often the makings of a successful individual. So if you enjoy that bitter taste, go on and order your gin and tonic.

Head here to check out Tim Federle's delightful book Gone With the Gin.

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