Someone finally checked – Hangry is real
Many have known it is a real thing for a long time, yet, apparently, nobody every did any actual studies into it, so it was unproven. But now it is, thanks to one curious and hangry scientist:
Until now, feeling ‘hangry’ – angry because you’re hungry – has been described in a general, colloquial sense, rather than a scientific one. But when one social psychologist was told they were hangry, they decided to investigate the emotion in more detail (presumably after having a snack).
“[The research] came about partly because my wife is often saying that I’m hangry, but I didn’t think being hangry was real,” said Professor Viren Swami, the study’s lead author at Anglia Ruskin University. “But mainly because I’m interested in the impact of hunger and eating on human emotions and behaviours.”
For the new study, 64 adults from central Europe were asked to record their emotions and their hunger levels at several points throughout their day. Over a three-week period, the researchers found that fluctuations in anger, irritability and unpleasantness were strongly linked with hunger.
In fact, hunger was responsible for 34 per cent of the variation in feelings of anger for participants. For feelings of irritability, hunger was 37 per cent responsible.
Swami’s study showed this link, but the exact reason hunger makes us more irritable is still unknown.
So, finally, it’s been shown that hangry is a real thing. As to what to do about it, well, simply knowing yourself is the best cure, and when you’re feeling hangry, eat.
As for those who get hangry, Swami said greater awareness of the feeling itself could reduce the likelihood that hunger results in negative emotions and behaviours in individuals.
“Although our study doesn’t present ways to mitigate negative hunger-induced emotions, research suggests that being able to label an emotion can help people to regulate it, such as by recognising that we feel angry simply because we are hungry,” said Swami.