An Empty Stomach Makes You Short-Sighted in Decision Making

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You are in the middle of an important meeting. It’s about lunch time, and you are starving. A decision is waiting for you to make. Do you want to

(A) make the decision now or

(B) have lunch first, leaving the decision until you are full?



Believe me, by choosing (B), you can make more profits than you have imagine.


This is what researchers have found recently: similar to no food shopping when hungry, no decision-making when your stomach is groaning. This is because you are impatient at that moment and are likely to settle for a small reward that arrived sooner than a larger one promised at a later date.



Study about the statement


Participants in the experiment designed by Dr. Benjamin Vincent, a psychological professional, were asked questions about food, money and other rewards when they are and are not hungry.



Researchers tested 50 participants twice, once when they had eaten normally and once having not eaten anything that day.


They prepared three different types of rewards, and it turned out that people tended to wait for a shorter time to get a relatively small reward when they are hungry.


If given two choices, getting a reward now or double that in the future, participants were willing to wait for 35 days to double the reward when satiated, but only 3 days when hungry.



It’s not surprising that people tended to choose smaller food incentives or unhealthier foods than a big healthy meal later when hungry. However, similar situations happened when they faced other rewards that were entirely unrelated with food.



What you need to know


Dr. Vincent believes it is important that people know that hunger might affect their preferences in ways they don’t necessarily predict. This may help you prevent risks, and may also explain why people in poverty may make decisions that entrench their situation.



“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.” Said Dr. Vincent.


People’s preferences shifted dramatically from the long to short term when hungry. Maybe you want to keep that in mind because you may usually go to work without breakfast, restrict your calories for losing weight, or fast for your health or religious reasons.

4 Answers

These messages are for mutual support and information sharing only. Always consult your doctor before trying anything you read here.
Fuck it. I've made a few mistakes buying stock when I shouldn't, all of them occured in the morning. I've been on 18 hour fasting for a month, always on an empty stomach until noon. Now I see why.
Next time try buying stock in the early afternoon. Good luck :D
I'm a stock trader. This is one of our rules.
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