Sometimes a bowl of cereal is just a bowl of cereal, but not this time, according to researchers. In fact, it could say something about your personality, according to a recent study.
The study, published in journal PLOS ONE, first rated a group of kids age six to ten on their levels of introversion and extroversion. Then, on one day, the kids were served cereal and milk by adults. They were given either a small or large bowl and told the adults how much cereal and milk they wanted. On another day, the children served themselves. The amount of food was secretly weighed by scales hidden in the tables.
The experiment found that when they were served by adults, both extroverted and introverted children asked for 50 percent more cereal and milk when they had a bigger bowl. Meanwhile, when the children served themselves, introverted kids only served themselves more about five percent of the time when they had a bigger bowl. On the other hand, 33 percent of extroverted kids served themselves more with a bigger bowl.
The researchers suggested that perhaps an extroverted personality made some of the kids more susceptible to being swayed by environmental cues (the bowl size, instead of hunger), particularly when serving themselves. However, both introverted and extroverted children asked for more when adults were serving, so until kids develop an understanding of healthy portion sizes, it might be wise for an adult to serve them instead… and use smaller bowls.