Personality and Food Choices
By Brad Bell
One’s personality traits may explain many behaviors. These personality traits may be conceptualized as behavioral scripts that involve beliefs about how one should or wishes to behave in certain situations. Thus, it stands to reason that personality traits may explain food choices.
Keller and Siegrist (2015) addressed whether the Big Five traits were correlated with the consumption of certain foods. The Big Five traits include extraversion, neuroticism, conscientiousness, openness to experience, and agreeableness. Keller and Siegrist (2015), for example, found that greater openness to experience was associated with a greater consumption of eating fruit and a vegetable salad. People who are high in openness to experience may prefer a greater a variety of food, and this may explain greater consumption of fruit and a vegetable salad.
However, it should be kept in mind that one cannot make causal conclusions from correlational findings. Two variables can be correlated without there being a causal relationship. There could be third variables that explain any correlational finding. Thus, for example, a correlation between a personality trait and consumption for a certain type of food may reflect some other personality trait or individual difference variable.
Keller, C., & Siegrist, M. (2015). Does personality influence eating styles and food choices? Direct and indirect effects. Appetite, 84, 128-138.