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Kendra Cherry

Does a Sweet Tooth Equal a Sweeter Personality?

By , black-rose-bielefeld.de GuideMay 9, 2012

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Would you rather eat your dessert before dinner or maybe even instead of dinner? According to a series of studies published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, people with a "sweet tooth" were rated as more agreeable and willing to help others. While consuming sweets might not be good for your waistline, lead author Brian Meier suggests that positive social behavior and sugary foods might activate the same areas of the brain.

"It is striking that helpful and friendly people are considered 'sweet' because taste would seem to have little in common with personality or behavior. Yet, recent psychological theories of embodied metaphor led us to hypothesize that seemingly innocuous metaphors can be used to derive novel insights about personality and behavior," Meier explains. "Importantly, our taste studies controlled for positive mood so the effects we found are not due to the happy or rewarding feeling one may have after eating a sweet food."

The authors note that this might not be true across all cultures, so further cross-cultural studies would be helpful in shedding more light on the link between having a sweet tooth and a sweet disposition.

Reference: Meier, B. P., Moeller, S. K., Riemer-Peltz, M., & Robinson, M. D. (2011). Sweet taste preferences and experiences predict prosocial inferences, personalities, and behaviors. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, DOI: 10.1037/a0025253

Image: Shannah Pace

Comments

May 15, 2012 at 12:19 pm
(1)feigasays:

What if someone with a sweet tooth controls the diet, does this person still have a sweet personality?

May 15, 2012 at 1:57 pm
(2)juliesays:

I would say that those who find life difficult look for comfort in sweet things. It is a sub-conscious way of extracting the sweetness you crave from life in the most readily available and instant way possible. Obviously this is also the most unhealthiest way as well!
I once knew someone who referred to himself as having been an angry young man, and now he was an angry old man. He put 6 teaspoons of sugar into each cup of tea! I think he was very bitter at having been divorced twice, with children who barely gave him the time of day.

I would not agree with this survey at all.

May 15, 2012 at 6:00 pm
(3)Kiniviliame Kilirakisays:

Other senses compliment the sense of taste. Did the survey take this into consideration to their conclusion..?

May 16, 2012 at 2:41 am
(4)tamlynsays:

wow that is interesting and i think true, well at least it applies to me and my family. I think that we are very compassionate and care a lot about people and we love sweet things, but of course this would not apply to everyone.

May 16, 2012 at 2:44 pm
(5)Sweet is as Sweet doessays:

I agree with the survey. If you think about it how many times have you heard fat people being referred to as ?jolly?? People that tend to eat a lot of sweets are heavier than those that don?t so wouldn?t it make sense that the connection is there? Besides drinking sweet tea isn?t the same as CRAVING sweets like chocolate and candy of various kinds. I know from personal experience that those that tend to love sweets are actually nicer than those that don?t. It makes sense that if the sweets give you the same type of emotional boost as doing something nice for people that regardless of whether they eat sweets or do nice things the physical and emotional reaction will be the same.

May 17, 2012 at 1:48 am
(6)Kingsleysays:

I dont agree wit the terms cos i think being nice nd jolly hearted is an inside thing, personal xteristic and personality. A hagard person, even when u impute 15 cubes of sugar inside his teacup; there?s bound not to be change cos his stil the hargard thing you always used to know.

May 18, 2012 at 4:28 am
(7)Jannysays:

Well, I dont entirely agree wih the results of the survey because children for example love to eat sweet things but not all children have a pleasant character, and when you are grown, the conditions of life and environment under which yu grew up more influence the kind of personality one gets in the rest of their life, positive or negative.

May 18, 2012 at 6:48 am
(8)aakash wankhedesays:

thanks for your support??????.i gain huge knowledge and learn many things.

May 18, 2012 at 7:59 am
(9)Alex Achutisays:

Your letters are sharpening me.Thank you.

When sweets are available all personalities get involved in eating them.It will give a wrong picture that those who crave for sweets have sweet personalities.I have seen both positive and negative responses in personalities of those who are actively engaged in sweets,cakes,chocolates,sugar etc.

June 10, 2012 at 10:39 am
(10)richasays:

I observed several times sweets consuming people generally look 4 comfort and diplomatic .so it can be said they try to sublime their bitter feelings by sweet intake.

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