The Agreeable Power of Sugar
New research (summarized in the BPS Research Digest) confirms an old cliche: you are what you eat. A team of psychologists recently found that not only are sweets-lovers perceived as more agreeable, but they may actually be more agreeable:
Students who rated their own personality as more agreeable also tended to have a stronger preference (than their less agreeable peers) for sweet foods and drinks. Among a different set of students, a stronger preference for sweet foods correlated positively with their willingness to volunteer their time, unpaid, for a separate unrelated study – considered by the researchers as a sign of prosocial behavior.
Are the sweets actually responsible for this behavior? Perhaps — in another study, “students given chocolate to eat (either a Hershey’s Kiss or a piece of Dove Silky Smooth chocolate), rated themselves as more agreeable and actually volunteered more of their time to help an unknown researcher, as compared with students given a sour sweet or a water cracker.”
Surely, there’s a greater use for this research: chocolate at the United Nations?