People Who Drink Black Coffee Are More Likely To Be Psychopaths

Looks like it's time to add some milk or cream to your morning cup.

woman with black coffee pixabay via Canva

Have you ever seen someone drink their coffee without any cream or sugar, and wondered how they're able to do that?

While many of us can't live without our morning cup of joe, it's also hard to imagine just drinking it straight without any added milk and sugar. After all, who wants to sip on such a bitter-tasting drink, especially very early in the morning?

Let's face it: we love you, coffee, but you can be pretty bitter. So then, how is it possible that some people are able to drink their morning cup of coffee black?


Well, according to research, drinking your coffee this way is pretty telling and reveals certain things about who you are as a person, in a very surprising way.

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Are people who drink black coffee psychopaths?

Not exactly. But it turns out that people who drink black coffee are more likely to have psychopathic tendencies. Let's take a look at the science, though.


Although it may sound a little bit strange, a 2015 study conducted in Austria had people talking about black coffee drinkers. In fact, the 2015 research linked black coffee drinkers with psychopathy, or at least traits of it.

This study, along with some others, has only been able to link malevolent personality traits with people who enjoy bitter-tasting beverages like tonic water or black coffee.

So, no, people who drink black coffee are not psychopaths but are simply more likely to exhibit negative behaviors.

Researchers at the University of Innsbruck in Austria didn't actually study coffee in their experiment, but instead focused on bitter-tasting substances. It analyzed whether or not certain flavors could be an indicator of antisocial personality traits.


The study surveyed more than 1,000 adults, recruited on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk platform, about how much they like specific foods and drinks; how much they like bitter, sweet, sour, and salty foods, in general; and how much they agreed, with a total of 52 statements from various personality tests.

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Researchers found that people who said they liked bitter foods, in general, were slightly more likely to have traits associated with psychopathy, narcissism, sadism, and Machiavellianism.

The participants rated how much they enjoyed foods and beverages, based on certain tastes, including a bitter taste. The results were then compared to personality tests covering specific traits, such as aggression and manipulation.


The study "confirmed the hypothesis that bitter taste preferences are positively associated with malevolent personality traits, with the most robust relation to everyday sadism and psychopathy."

But according to the study, it only found that liking bitter foods is predictive of 19% of someone’s sadism.

That means that people who enjoy bitter flavors, like bitter beers or coffee, are more likely to be psychopaths.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, the people who take their morning cup of coffee with sugar and cream, are likely to show more positive characteristics, including sympathy, cooperativeness, and kindness.

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However, let's take a step back and reevaluate the legitimacy of the 2015 study.

The study that tries to link black coffee drinkers with psychopathic traits is a bit flawed.

First of all, the study never asked any of its participants if they take their coffee black, making the results and correlation a complete inference. And although personality traits in relation to specific taste preferences have been studied before, this study is, as you might expect, flawed.

Second, the study got their data through self-reporting, which is often unreliable. Third, respondents were also paid for responding to the study's survey, which included more than 50 questions.


Fourth, the sense of taste is subjective, so no one can agree on what constitutes bitter food. Researchers found that participants disagreed with the researchers over whether certain foods were bitter. For example, the researchers thought cottage cheese, ginger ale, grapefruit juice, rye bread, and tea were bitter, but the participants didn't.

Lastly, the study didn't have any clear conclusions on the link between black coffee and psychopathic tendencies. Just taste preference was spoken about and their findings were incredibly weak.

More research is needed to actually verify its findings, so the study is, at most, just entertaining to read. Either way, you might want to lay off the black coffee and add a little cream to lighten it up. Still, drinking black coffee isn't going to turn you into a psychopath.

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