2019-11-22Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02591
What Does Our Personality Say About Our Dietary Choices? Insights on the Associations Between Dietary Habits, Primary Emotional Systems and the Dark Triad of Personality
The awareness of the consequences of consuming animal products for the environment and one’s own health has been growing in recent years. The aim of the present research project was to examine the relationship between individual differences in biologically rooted primary emotional systems arising from phylogenetically old brain areas and dietary habits including being a vegan/vegetarian or omnivore (Study 1). Additionally, the link between the Dark Triad personality traits and dietary habits was investigated (also Study 1). In Study 2 it was aimed to replicate the associations between the Dark Triad traits and dietary habits in a new sample. In total 1140 (Study 1) and 444 (Study 2) participants took part in the research project. The Affective Neuroscience Personality Scales (ANPS) were applied to assess individual differences in six primary emotional systems. The Short Dark Triad Scale (SD3) was administered to assess individual differences in Machiavellianism, psychopathy and narcissism. The eating style of participants was measured with the Eating Behavior Questionnaire (EBQ). Results of Study 1 demonstrated higher CARE, SADNESS and spirituality scores, and lower PLAY scores in vegans/vegetarians than in omnivores. However, after the sex of the participants was included in the model, the effect on CARE got weaker. Additionally, omnivores scored higher on Machiavellianism, however, this association disappeared when sex was added to the model. In Study 2, higher scores in Machiavellianism, narcissism and psychopathy were reported for the group of omnivores compared to vegans/vegetarians, however, those effects got weaker or disappeared after the sex of participants was added to the model. The present research project adds to the literature by investigating the ANPS model and the Dark Triad of personality in the context of eating style for the first time. The findings of these two studies might help to better understand how people following different types of diet, might differ in their personalities.