By Adam Andrzejewski for RealClearPolicy
We’ve all seen those clickbait quizzes offering to decipher what type of personality we have based on our favorite foods. A few of us may have even taken them, but nobody actually believes preferring pizza over pasta has any meaningful interpretation for our personality.
Nobody, except some scientists in 1982, to whom the government paid $40,000 to conduct scientific research on the matter. Today, adjusted for inflation, the government spent the equivalent of $112,500 on the study.
Sen. William Proxmire (D-WI) highlighted this as his “Golden Fleece Award” for the month of January 1982. The U.S. Department of Agriculture spent $40,000 on a yearlong study called “Food Preferences and Social Identity” to test the claim that people with a certain personality prefer certain types of food.
Sen. Proxmire had the right response when said in a press release, “SO WHAT? Who cares what it means whether you eat carrots or caviar? Here’s a $40,000 study calculated to make the American taxpayer eat his heart out.”
The study apparently broke in Psychology Today magazine, in an article titled “Profiles in Eating – Sexy Vegetarians and other Diet Based Social Stereotypes.”
So, what did our tax dollars find? The study found that Vegetarians like “intellectual tasks, crafts, and want a good education.” Gourmet lovers “want spouses but few children, and like to mix it up on the tennis court.” Fast food eaters are “supposedly antidrug, patriotic, conservative, and interested in doing extra hard work on the job” and “health food nuts” are “the laid back folks among us.”
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Of course, no private institution would fund this sort of research. Lucky for you, your government did.
Syndicated with permission from Real Clear Wire.
The #WasteOfTheDay is presented by the forensic auditors at OpenTheBooks.com.
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