Does hunger make you angry?
Do you know the meaning of the word 'hangry'? It's blameless if you don't know because it was only recently that the Oxford Dictionary included this word. This word is a combination of two words, 'hunger' and 'anger', and is used to describe a phenomenon that when a person is hungry, he may become angry.
Now, a new study has demonstrated that the phenomenon 'hangry' is more than just a reduction in blood sugar but a quite complex emotional response. Emotions influence every aspect of one's life. Negative emotions, including anger, are known to have harmful health effects. So, it's very important to further explore the psychological mechanisms of 'hangry'.
Previous studies have linked low blood sugar levels to poor self-control. When self-control stops, aggression and violence may start. Giving individuals more access to food might be a way to avoid negative emotions and therefore increase effective self-control, and this intervention might be very important in stressful settings, such as in prisons, psychiatric hospitals, and schools. Recent evidence suggests that the lower the blood sugar, the less ability a person has to regulate temper. But our understanding of hunger-induced emotional states is far from complete.
Two researchers, Jennifer MacCormack and Kristen Lindquist, in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, carried out a series of experiments to better elucidate 'hangry'. They found evidence that hunger alters individuals' affective perceptions and experiences. It appeared that hungry people are more likely to report feeling high arousal, negative emotions than satiated people. The effects of hunger on emotions might be more complex than thought.
The results have been summarized in a paper titled "Feeling Hangry? When Hunger is Conceptualized as Emotion," appearing in the journal Emotion.
This study focused on the connection between hunger and emotion. But its results may extend to other body states such as fatigue and inflammation. More research is needed to help understand how the body shapes emotions.
The body regulates the mind and emotions. It is very important to take good care of the body. When the body has some minor problems or discomforts, do not ignore them, because even a small problem, over a long time, may cause great trouble, including not only the physiological aspects but also psychological aspects. Sometimes, you may not realize that a small problem like hunger may make your mood worse.