Date of Award

Spring 2017

Thesis Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Honors Bachelor of Arts




Dr. Steven St. John

Committee Member

Dr. Andrew Luchner

Committee Member

Dr. Dexter Boniface


In this study, we did a partial replication of Sagioglou and Greitemeyer’s 2016 study concerning bitter taste preferences and malevolent personality traits. Undergraduate students (n=40, mean age=19.40, 75% females) completed a laboratory component consisting of 24 samples of 8 different solutions (sucrose, sodium chloride, quinine, and citric acid with a higher and lower concentration of each) for 3 iterations, as well as PTC testing and tongue staining in order to count fungiform papillae. This was followed by a survey component that utilized HEXACO (which assesses six major domains of personality) and the IPIP-NEO scale for psychopathy (measured with the factors of “fearless dominance” and “impulsive antisociality”). While this study failed to support the link between bitter taste preference and psychopathy, there was a significant positive correlation (p<.01) between psychopathy and extraversion as well as a significant negative correlation (p<.01) between psychopathy and honesty-humility. Taste and personality correlates included significant negative correlation (p<.05) existed between extraversion and the perceived intensity of sucrose, and also between agreeableness and perceived quinine intensity. While power and procedural issues warrant caution, the results we did achieve are promising and could have greater future applications as more studies are done to assess causal links between genetics and personality.

Rights Holder

Lauren A Waymire