Has your email inbox been flooded with promotional emails and corporate discounts for mooncakes, given that the annual Mid-Autumn Festival is just around the corner? So many choices, from snowskin, to matcha, and even bakkwa and mala mooncakes this year.
What you might not realise is that your favourite mooncake flavour can reveal your inner thoughts, feelings and work personality. Dr Alan Hirsch, a neurologist and psychiatrist at the Smell and Taste Foundation in Chicago, believes our food choices are a subtle way of expressing aspects of personality.
Read on to find out what your mooncake pick might be revealing of your office persona!
If you’re a fan of snowskin mooncakes
It’s likely you’re the office sweetheart or bro, according to studies conducted at Gettysburg College, which found that people who like sweet foods tend to be more beloved, and kinder.
This was backed up by further research by North Dakota State University, which showed that those who prefer sugary desserts, scored higher in traits associated with friendliness, compassion and empathy.
At work, they tend to be the ones fronting volunteer CSR initiatives, as part of their nature to share and help others selflessly.
If you’re a fan of mala and spicy mooncakes
You’ve seen these around, we bet. Even more bizarrely, some years back, KFC Hong Kong actually released a spicy chicken mooncake for those who clearly have a spice addiction.
Well, like your taste buds, your office personality is probably just as gung-ho and adventurous, according to a series of studies by the University of Pennsylvania.
Psychologists found that those who prefer spicy and seasoned foods, tend to seek new adventures that bring them intense emotions. They are people who get bored quickly with day to day and need a dose of adrenaline in their lives, so they are always willing to try new experiences.
Interestingly, they also found that people who enjoy activities, such as giving presentations and speeches, also showed greater love for spicy food. In terms of managing characters like these, they loved to be praised, but also showed a greater tolerance for friends and colleagues with different personality and culture types.
If you’re a fan of savoury or bakkwa mooncakes
You’re likely to be ambitious, with a strong inner motivation to succeed, according to studies conducted by the Pennsylvania State University. Their report found that those who prefer salty foods are often overworked, due to their strong work ethic.
Interestingly, it’s also been found that 25% of elite athletes — who certainly exemplify driven personalities — tend to have more developed taste buds, which leads to a greater sensitivity to savoury flavours.
But if you really want to boost your performance, take a break… of any duration, according to research by The Well Being Thesis. Micro-breaks, lunchtime breaks and longer breaks, have all been shown to have a positive relationship with well-being and productivity.
Read More: Discover Your Work Personality
If you’re a fan of citrus and fruity mooncakes
If you are one of those who love citrus and fruit-flavoured mooncakes, you are more likely to be thoughtful and rational, according to a study at Wageningen University. However, you might also be the office worrier, as researchers also found that you might have a tendency to be overwhelmed by anxiety, particularly when it comes to making decisions.
Other personality traits that were positive for the workplace included being open to more stimuli, and a higher creative trait, if you can control your tendency to over-think. However, some downsides also include being critical and harsh with colleagues, due to a habit of setting very high standards.
If you’re a fan of coffee, dark chocolate or matcha mooncakes
Well, you might not exactly be Mr/Ms Sociable at the office. These three flavours tend to be less on the sweet side and lean towards those with bitter tastes.
In 2015, a study published in the journal Appetite: Eating and Drinking suggested a correlation between a preference for some less kind and even antisocial personality traits. The researchers performed two studies to determine whether people with such taste preferences were more likely to be more self-serving and egotistic.
Now, the research was based on personality questionnaires rather than a study of human behaviour, so it’s more likely that those that admitted to loving bitter foods were probably more introverted, rather than outright evil in nature.
But still, if you find the idea of a bitter gourd mooncake appealing, it’s probably safe to say you’ll probably have the whole serving to yourself — which is as solitary as it gets.
But of course, mooncakes don’t maketh the man (or woman)
Of course, do take these mooncake revelations with a pinch of salt. Ultimately, as Dr Jen Nash explained to the Daily Mail, “While research (like these) are fascinating and make for interesting water cooler chat, it does need to be interpreted broadly, as our food preferences are influenced by a multitude of factors.
“The preferences of those shopping and cooking for us (as we grow up), what’s actually available and family/cultural patterns all play a part!”
So don’t be too quick to judge your colleagues just based on their mooncake orders this Mid-Autumn Festival!