The Washington Post:
Ate something bitter? It can make you judgmental. Feeling love is all around? It can make even water taste sweeter. Not only do our emotions influence our perceptions of taste, but what we taste can also change how we feel, scientists have found.
“The tongue could be a window to the psyche,” says Nancy Dess, a professor of psychology at Occidental College in Los Angeles, pointing to the growing number of studies that connect taste perception with emotions and even personality types.
In that study, close to 1,000 Americans were given standard personality and taste-preference questionnaires. People who enjoyed foods with bitter notes — such as grapefruit, tonic water, coffee and radishes — were more likely to admit that they enjoyed tormenting people or that they tend to manipulate others to get their way. “And these effects are not tiny, either,” says Austrian psychologist Christina Sagioglou, the study’s lead author.
“The findings suggest that judgments involving morality, e.g. jury deliberations, opinions on sociopolitical issues, could potentially reflect and be swayed by what individuals eat and drink,” said one of the study’s authors, Natalie Kacinik, a professor of psychology at the City University of New York, in an email.
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