Research Finds Connection Between Taste Preferences & Personality

He looked at dozens of existing studies for repeating patterns, with one of his most prominent findings being that people who are sensation-seekers (aka thrill-seekers) tend to prefer spicy foods, and potentially even sour and crunchy foods, more than those who behave more cautiously.

Novelty-seekers, or those who like to try new things versus more conservative folk, also show an enhanced liking for salty foods, he writes.

And in the case of people who are more worry-prone, they tend to display a limited range of food tastes (like your quintessential picky eater), while those who are open to new experiences tend to enjoy a wider range of foods.

Spence notes that biological factors like our sense of smell (which differs from person to person), as well as hormones, can also influence our personality. However, he says, these factors haven’t been linked with “any very specific predictions concerning likely food preferences.”

Further, there’s a strong, bidirectional relationship between mood and taste, with mood impacting our taste perception, and tasting certain foods impacting our mood—and even our behavior.

“In conclusion,” he writes, “the research that has been reviewed here highlights how a number of personality characteristics have been linked to various aspects of taste, [smell], and diet.”

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