Extrovert or Introvert? Your Cereal Bowl Knows

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 insteadÖ and use smaller bowls.

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Mike R
Mike R1 months ago


Kathryn I
Kathryn I4 months ago

What about adults?

Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson4 years ago

what variables were taken into account?

Jonathan Harper
Jonathan Harper4 years ago


Lin M
Lin M4 years ago

I don't think it's just kids who put more in bowl size. It looks a lot less when a small amount is in a large bowl so you'd tend to add more.

Juliet Jujji Y.
Past Member 4 years ago

Extreme introvert. - Thanks for paying close attention to this study... it seems vibrant.

Diana T.
Diana T4 years ago

Of course - the easy answer is to teach children right from the beginning, the difference between size, proportion, etc. Hey, you'll not only teach them a sense of fairness and sharing, but they will also learn how to circumvent greed and overeating. Not to mention they'll get one heck of a "leg-up" in math!

Kathy G.
Kathy G4 years ago


Michael H.
Mike H4 years ago

If you talk to your cereal bowl are you extroverted or a nut case?

Patt Tashjian
Patt Tashjian4 years ago

There are a lot of flaws in this study. Did all of the kids have their pick of cereal and if not what if the "introverted kid" did not like the kind he was served? Also, milk can make certain cereals weigh more. The "introverted kid" may eat a lot of his cereal, but leave the milk and visa versa. Too many variables and I can think of more that are not addressed.