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9 ways personality influences your taste preferences

Photos Logo By Gina Roberts-Grey of Photos | Slide 2 of 10

Hot peppers and spicy foods

Can’t help but cram sky diving, hang gliding or bungee jumping into your weekend? A study from Penn State says thrill seekers are more apt to flirt with setting their mouth on fire by digging into fiery foods than those who are mild-mannered or passive. The scientists speculate that capsaicin, the compound that gives hot peppers their zing, links your taste buds’ passion for peppers and an adrenaline rush, and that eating foods with capsaicin can simulate the rush of living on the edge. “You take the risk that hot peppers and similar foods will burn your mouth, just like you risk your life sky diving,” says Keith Kantor, a nutritionist and author of “What Matters: Leadership Values That Just Might Save America.” Kantor says hot-pepper lovers are also usually more tolerant of change than other people. “They might like the thrill associated with something new around the corner.”

There’s nothing bland about those who stock up on spicy foods, Albers says. “They tend to like complexity and interesting tastes, and often score high in the ‘sensation seeking’ category on personality tests.” Sensation seekers like new experiences and thrills, whether it’s a new spicy food, a horror film festival or a death-defying roller coaster. 

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