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.
This 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
The findings of the study are presented at the
Institute of Food Technologists 2013 annual meeting and food expo.