Batra and his colleagues investigated the relationship between tasting spicy food or seeing spicy food and how aggressive people are. They found that “consumption of, and even mere exposure to spicy food [seeing pictures of it, for example], can semantically activate concepts related to aggression as well as lead to higher levels of perceived aggressive intent in others.” These findings indicate that care should be exercised when using images of spicy foods to decorate spaces, etc. and also that the design of spaces where spicy foods are likely to be consumed should be relatively calming, to at least partially compensate for the effects that spicy food seen or consumed has on aggression.
Rishtee Batra, Tanuka Ghoshal, and Rajagopal Raghunathan. 2017. “You Are What You Eat: An Empirical Investigation of the Relationship Between Spicy Food and Aggressive Cognition.” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, vol. 71, pp. 42-48.