Sweets for the sweet.

Position:YOUR LIFE - Brief article

People with a "sweet tooth" have sweeter dispositions, suggests a study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. "Taste is something we experience every day," notes coauthor Brian Meier, associate professor of psychology at Gettysburg (Pa.) College. "Our research examines whether metaphors for taste preferences and experiences can be used to shed light on personality traits and behavior."

The study authors found participants who ate a sweet food (chocolate) versus a nonsweet food (cracker) or no food were more likely to volunteer to help another person in need--and that people believe that a person who likes sweet foods such as candy or chocolate cake also is more agreeable and helpful.

"It is striking that helpful and friendly people are considered 'sweet' because taste would seem...

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