We have all experienced mood swings and lowering of our spirits when we are hungry. Hunger plays with our mind as well. Crankiness, restlessness, irritation are just some of the behavioural changes we see when we are famished. It's also natural to eat unhealthy foods when hunger strikes hard. If the results of a recent study are to be believed, you should not put you mind to use for making important decisions on an empty stomach. Whether you are going to make an important business deal or negotiate your salary; the study suggests not taking such crucial decisions if you are hungry. The details of the study were published in the journal Psychonomic Bulletin & Review.
Benjamin Vincent from the University of Dundee in Britain said, "People generally know that when they are hungry they shouldn't really go food shopping because they are more likely to make choices that are either unhealthy or indulgent. Our research suggests this could have an impact on other kinds of decisions as well."
Starvation can make people impatient and impacts their thinking and decision-making abilities. Vincent explained this further - "Say you were going to speak with a pensions or mortgage advisor - doing so while hungry might make you care a bit more about immediate gratification at the expense of a potentially more rosy future."
(Also Read: 10 Myths About Hunger You Should Know)
To study this, Vincent carried out a special experiment wherein he asked participants some questions related to food, money and other rewards when they were on an empty stomach and repeated the process again when they had eaten their meals. He discovered that hunger changed their perception towards rewards. He realised that the volunteers were likely to settle for a small reward that came sooner than waiting for a larger one that would take more time to arrive. "We found there was a large effect, people's preferences shifted dramatically from the long to short term when hungry," he said.
The study proves that hunger can pose a danger of people making wrong decisions that could worsen their situation financially, emotionally and physically.