Are sweet-toothed people also sweet by nature?

Posted on October 9, 2014

Three years ago psychologists reported that we assume people who like sweet food are also sweet natured. More surprisingly perhaps, Brian Meier and his colleagues also found that the sweet-toothed really do have more agreeable personalities and are more inclined to behave altruistically.

However, a new paper led by Michael Ashton to attempt to replicate the specific finding that people who like sweet things are also more sweet natured proved otherwise.

Over 600 student participants completed personality and taste preference tests in pairs; a much larger sample than in the earlier research. The participants also did self-reports of their own personality and also rated their friend's personality on two scales -- the Big Five Factors and HEXACO dimensions. This is an advantage over the research from three year ago which relied solely on self-reports from the Big Five Factors scale only.

While a preference for sweet-tasting food does correlate with having more agreeable or prosocial personality traits, they are modest associations and are also less than half the strength reported by Brian Meier and his colleagues three years ago.

Researchers are not surprised with the results and they believe there's no compelling psychological explanation for why sweet-natured people should prefer sweet foods.

Click the link below to read the full article.


Source material from The British Psychological Society


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