Can't get enough of the spice? Do your taste buds always crave for the fiery hotness in anything and everything? Chances are, you might be more open to taking risks and seeking new experiences, according to a new study.
Researchers from Pennsylvania State University, in their new unique study, have linked the love of spicy foods to more outgoing personalities in people. Using the Arnett Inventory of Sensory Seeking (AISS) test, doctoral candidate Nadia Byrnes studied the personalities of 184 study participants, all non-smokers between the age of 18 and 45 years, and free from any health issues that would compromise on their ability to taste.
AdvertisementThis very test is actually used to evaluate the personality test of the sensation-seeking. People who score above the mean AISS score are thought to have more outgoing personalities, and are more willing to take risks and try new experiences, while those scoring below the AISS test tend to be less open and willing to try risky situations.
For the study, the subjects were asked to consume 25 micrometers of capsaicin, which is an active ingredient in chili peppers. They were then asked to rate how much they liked a spicy meal after the burn from the capsaicin was gradually increased.
The study results revealed that individuals who scored more than average in the AISS test score, meaning those having outgoing personalities, consistently liked the meal despite the increase in the burn from the capsaicin. As opposed to this, individuals scoring below the mean AISS scored gradually disliked the meals as the burn from the capsaicin was increased.
"Theoretically, we know that burn intensity and liking are linear related. The more irritating a compound or food gets, the less people should like it. But that's not always the case," Byrnes explained.
The findings of the study are presented at the Institute of Food Technologists 2013 annual meeting and food expo.