Sweet Tooth, Personality Traits Diagnose Alcoholism:
"'So far, the combination of a 'sweet test' and a written survey called the Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire which evaluates the levels of novelty seeking, harm avoidance, and reward dependence, allowed an accurate diagnosis of alcoholism in 85 percent of the subjects studied,' says research fellow and study leader Dr. Alexey Kampov-Polevoy. 'Actually, the word alcohol is never mentioned throughout this testing routine, which takes about 15 to 20 minutes. No other diagnostic test for alcoholism shows such results.'
Kampov-Polevoy says a strong liking for sweets alone is not enough to accurately indicate the presence of alcoholism. Only those sweet-liking individuals who have a certain personality profile are vulnerable to the development of alcoholism. In the new study, 52 men who had never been diagnosed with alcoholism and 26 recovering alcoholics took the sweet preference test and completed the TPQ. Sweet-liking alcoholics scored high on harm-avoidance and novelty-seeking, while sweet-liking nonalcoholics tended to score low on these traits. Neither group could be differentiated by their scores on reward dependence."