If You Order This Drink at the Bar, You Might Just Be a Psychopath

What really makes a psychopath? Pop culture has hammered a certain image in our heads, but science may have a better idea, at least when it comes to booze.

Study reveals ordering gin and tonics make you more likely to be a psychopathPhoto: Shutterstock

If You Like This Drink, You Might Be a Psychopath

Psychopaths can be picky. For example, if you’re waiting in line at your local coffee shop and the guy in front of you is unnervingly insistent on his coffee being black, you might just be in the queue next to a psychopath. But when happy hour rolls around, how are we supposed to weed out the mad among us?

According to Men’s Health, you need to keep your eyes peeled for those lime wedges and quinine-laced bubbles because psychopaths love the bitter bite of a gin and tonic. A study conducted by Austria’s Innsbruck University ran two trials on a research group of 953 participants, with eyes toward finding a link between food and drink preferences and “malevolent personality traits.” (Discover the rarest personality type in the world.)

One half of the experiment involved the participants assessing a list of bitter, sour, sweet, and salty foods and drinks on a scale of one to six. The other half of the study involved a personality questionnaire which would gauge each participant’s levels of “Machiavellianism, psychopathy, narcissism, everyday sadism, trait aggression, and the Big Five factors of personality.” (Here’s what your eye colour can reveal about your health and personality.)

The paper cites several studies which link a bitter food/drink preference, also known as “Supertasting,” to “increased emotionality” and differences in food consumption habits, but makes a point to mentioned that “To our knowledge, this is the first research linking taste preferences to  antisocial personality traits.” The study may be the first of its kind, but the authors claim that it stands on solid footing.

“The data thereby provide novel insights into the relationship between personality and the ubiquitous behaviours of eating and drinking by consistently demonstrating a robust relation between increased enjoyment of bitter foods and heightened sadistic proclivities,” notes the study. 

If your blind date is taking his dessert with a grain of cacao, maybe take his eerie kindness with a grain of salt. And if your discussion turns to music, keep an eye out for these tunes—psychopaths do have musical preferences, after all.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest