Personality May Determine Whether You Like Spicy Food

Contributor
Do you like it plain or spicy? Your personality will tell you

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

If you’re a thrill-seeker, it’s likely that you like your food spicy and hot.

If you’re one of those people who likes spicy food, your personality may have something to do with it, according to Science Daily.

In a study, 185 participants aged 18 to 45 who did not have any issues that would affect their ability to taste, were given 25 micrometers of capsaicin, the spicy component of chile peppers, and asked to rate how much they liked or didn’t like a meal as the level of capsaicin grew more intense.

Before the tasting, each participant took the Arnett Inventory of Sensation Seeking (AISS), a test designed to evaluate an individual’s personality trait of sensation seeking. An individual who scores above the mean AISS score is usually more open to risks and new experiences than an individual who scores below. Participants who fell below the mean were quick to dislike the meal as the burn increased, but those who were above the mean continued to really enjoy the meal even as the burn intensified. 

“Theoretically, we know that burn intensity and liking are linear[ly] related. The more irritating a compound or food gets, the less people should like it," says Nadia Byrnes, a doctoral candidate at Pennsylvania State University who led the study. "But that's not always the case."

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