Fill Up Before a Big Decision

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You know how bad your brain can get when you're hangry. Even if you don't, Snickers has long made a series of video ads demonstrating just how not ourselves we can be when we need to eat. Hunger doesn't simply make us irritable or weak, though: According to new research, it can send our lives into a tailspin.


Psychologists at Scotland's University of Dundee have just released a study looking into how being hungry or full can affect the quality of our decision-making. It turns out the results are pretty significant: Not only does hungry make a person more impatient, but it tends to make us settle for less just so we can get what we want sooner.

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If this sounds like the famous marshmallow experiment to you, in which children who can resist eating one marshmallow now are given two marshmallows after a set amount of time, you're not wrong. What's new is that the Dundee psychologists have discovered that we make similarly non-rational decisions while hungry even when our choices aren't related to food. In that case, it may pay to eat well before, say, signing a lease or picking a new pair of shoes. Being satiated could mean the difference between blisters or untenable rent and a much more comfortable future.


That might mean ducking into a restaurant, if a snack won't keep your hanger at bay. Luckily, you won't have to guess on wait times — the internet, as always, has you more or less covered.