Does A Sweet Tooth Make You Sweet?

December 02, 2011

Could liking sweets make you sweet? Probably not, but the opposite may actually be true.

We frequently describe people as sweet, sour, fiery, bitter, etc, but have you ever stopped to think if maybe these types of people actually like the associated foods? A recent study looked at a preference for sweets and what that person’s personality was actually like. Scientists found that a liking for sweeter foods was an indication that a person is more agreeable and helpful, but not extroverted or neurotic.
In one of five studies involving more than 500 people, researchers from Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania, St. Xavier University in Chicago and North Dakota State University, showed that people who choose to eat a piece of chocolate rather than a non-sweet food were more likely to volunteer and help another person in need.
In another study, researchers found that people also associate having a sweet tooth with a pleasant disposition. The participants were shown photos of people with neutral facial expressions, but with comments under the pictures that would say, for example, that they liked eating chocolate. People actually rated those associated with sweet food higher in agreeableness.
The research is published in the Journal of Personality Social Psychology, and is part of a group of studies looking into how our personalities may determine what types of food we like.