If you order this drink at the bar, you might just be a psychopath

Psychopaths can be picky. For example, if you’re waiting in line at your local coffee shop and the guy in front of you is unnervingly insistent on his coffee being black, you might just be in the queue next to a psychopath. But when happy hour rolls around, how are we supposed to weed out the mad among us?

According toMen’s Health, you need to keep your eyes peeled for those lime wedges and quinine-laced bubbles because psychopaths love the bitter bite of a gin and tonic. A study conducted by Austria’s Innsbruck University ran two trials on a research group of 953 participants, with eyes toward finding a link between food and drink preferences and “malevolent personality traits.”

Related: Signs to look out for

Tell-tale signs someone is a psychopath
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Tell-tale signs someone is a psychopath

1. They speak in the past tense.

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Psychopaths use more past-tense verbs than other people. When talking about an event happening right now, most of us would say, "I think this is a good idea." A psychopath might be more likely to say, "I thought that was a good idea." Researchers suspect this is because they are detached from their behavior and their environment.

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2. Their body language is convincing. Psychopaths lie to make themselves look good. But their nonverbal behavior is often so convincing--and distracting--that people don't recognize they're being deceitful. In the police interview with murderer and rapist Paul Bernadino, FBI agents noticed he used powerful hand gestures to distract from his spoken lies.

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3. Their language lacks emotional dimension.

For psychopaths, saying, "I love you," doesn't stir up any more emotion than saying, "Please pass the milk." They can parrot back what they've heard other people say but their facial expressions don't match their words. Their ability to verbalize feelings is most likely a learned behavior, as opposed to a genuine emotional experience.

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4. They sound charming.

Researchers have found that psychopaths talk more and use more emotional words in an attempt to gain attention and admiration. Psychopaths are really good at saying just the right thing at the right time. They know how to play on other people's emotions and they're master manipulators.

(Tom Merton via Getty Images)

5. They speak slowly and quietly.

Studies show psychopaths usually speak in a controlled manner. They don't emphasize emotional words like other people do. Their tone remains fairly neutral throughout the conversation. Researchers suspect they craft a calm demeanor intentionally because it helps them gain more control in their personal interactions.

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6. They talk about life in terms of cause and effect.

Psychopaths--especially those who commit crimes--talk about their behavior in terms of cause and effect. For example, one might say, "I had to teach him a lesson." Rather than show remorse, a psychopath is likely to justify his actions.

7. They focus their attention on their basic needs.

Rather than talk about spiritual or emotional needs or the needs of others, psychopaths are more likely to talk about their own basic needs, like food and shelter. A psychopath who confesses to a murder, for example, is more likely to spend the bulk of his time talking about what he ate for lunch and what he hoped to gain financially, rather than how his behavior affected other people.

8. They say, "um" more often.

Psychopaths are more likely to use filler words and sounds, like "uh" and "um." While many people use such sounds to avoid an awkward silence, researchers suspect psychopaths use them in an effort to appear sane.

9. They're great storytellers.

Whether a psychopath claims she rescued kittens from a burning building or says she was the only one at her last job who was willing to stand up to management, psychopaths tell rich stories about themselves. While some stories are likely to paint them as victims, the bulk of their stories are likely to portray them as heroes. All of their stories stem from their desire to gain trust and manipulate their listeners.

(Jacob Ammentorp Lund via Getty Images)


One half of the experiment involved the participants assessing a list of bitter, sour, sweet, and salty foods and drinks on a scale of one to six. The other half of the study involved a personality questionnaire which would gauge each participant’s levels of “Machiavellianism, psychopathy, narcissism, everyday sadism, trait aggression, and the Big Five factors of personality.”

The paper cites several studies which link a bitter food/drink preference, also known as “Supertasting,” to “increased emotionality” and differences in food consumption habits, but makes a point to mentioned that “To our knowledge, this is the first research linking taste preferences to  antisocial personality traits.” The study may be the first of its kind, but the authors claim that it stands on solid footing.


Countries with the greatest burden of disease for mental and behavioral disorders: WHO
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Countries with the greatest burden of disease for mental and behavioral disorders: WHO

10. Germany

City center of Munich, Germany

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9. Nigeria

As seen from a plane, the aerial view of Lagos, Nigeria looks like a patchwork quilt of colored roofs, sand, grass and streets.

(Photo via Getty)

8. Bangladesh

The sun is setting over the smoggy city Dhaka

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7. Pakistan

Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab and the second largest city in Pakistan after Karachi with a population of some 7 million people.

(Photo via Getty)

6. Indonesia

Panorama of Jakarta Skyline with blue sky and no traffic. BNI46 Building from left to right

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5. Brazil

A view from Santa Teresa in the hills of Rio de Janeiro as The iconic Cristo Redentor, Christ the Redeemer statue appears out of the clouds while lit up at night time atop the mountain Corcovado. In the foreground is the Favela Morro da Coroa. 

(Photo via Getty)

4. Russia

Morning over the Moscow Kremlin in the sun

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3. United States of America

Crowd of Times Square in a rainy night, New York, USA

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2. India

Local indian people shoping at street market, Mumbai, India.

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1. China

Crowd of people along The Bund in Shanghai

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“The data thereby provide novel insights into the relationship between personality and the ubiquitous behaviors of eating and drinking by consistently demonstrating a robust relation between increased enjoyment of bitter foods and heightened sadistic proclivities,” notes the study. 

If your blind date is taking his dessert with a grain of cacao, maybe take his eerie kindness with a grain of salt. And if your discussion turns to music, keep an eye out for these tunes—psychopaths do have musical preferences, after all.

[Source: Men’s Health]

The post If You Order This Drink at the Bar, You Might Just Be a Psychopath appeared first on Reader's Digest.

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