New Study Reveals Why You Shouldn’t Eat When You Gamble

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This is exactly what you’ve been looking for to justify your unquellable appetite: a new study out of Utrecht University in the Netherlands has found that “hunger is associated with advantageous decision making.”

In their study, the researchers had two groups of 30 participants each play the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), a card game where the object is to win as much money as possible, after either having fasted for 10 hours straight or having eaten a big breakfast.

The researchers found that those who rated their hunger as being highest (5 on 1-5 scale) tended to make better decisions during the IGT. Hunger, a “hot state,” can alter an individual’s perception and feelings, affecting their decision making. The findings of the study support the researchers’ assertion that decision-making that is inclusive of feelings can improve the quality of decisions made, especially those decisions that affect the long-term.

In conclusion, the researchers write:

“… these studies for the first time provide suggestive evidence that hot states improve complex decision making under uncertain conditions, lending support to our assumption that being able to recognize and use one’s emotions benefits complex decisions. Apparently, our findings stand in sharp contrast with previous studies showing that hot states in general and visceral drives in particular compromise decision making. These studies generally assume that hot states make people more impulsive and disregard the risks of a behavior that seem so evident under cooler conditions.”

So remember, the next time you’re scolded for always being hungry, tell them you wouldn’t have it any other way because science says you make better decisions because of it … unless they’re decisions about eating $2,000 burgers.

 

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