Being 'Hangry' Is A Bigger Motivator Than Fear, Says Science

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Food Is A More Powerful Motivator Than Fear, Says Science

When you're hangry, you're HANGRY.

People require several things in order to survive that account for basic needs: water, shelter, social connection, and food. But really, food should be at the top of that list, because as science has come to find that animals will straight up cut each other down to get to that precious, precious, goodness that we call yum-yums.

And who can blame them? I'm sure more than one person has suddenly Hulked out in the line at a cafeteria, or snapped at their S.O. in a restaurant when the food was delayed. We've all been at that point where we're tapping our feet and getting incredibly snippy until someone mentions that maybe we need to eat.

And of course, there's a reason that Snickers has an entire (very successful) campaign focused on the concept of, "You're not you when you're hungry."

Why? Because apart from being the ultimate thing of delight and wonder you can stick in your mouth hole, food provides energy for absolutely every process your body does, including creating the driving urge to go and eat, or threaten to kill someone if you don't get your food.

Ever tried in-depth thinking when your stomach's been tipping the "E" line of the tank for a few hours? Not so easy, is it?

And according to the National Institutes of Health, researchers have discovered that hunger is actually a more powerful motivator than thirst, fear, or social interaction, which explains why even the most introverted people are willing to risk interaction with others in order to get something to fill their bellies.

The researchers at NIH did an experiment with mice by testing to see what kind of conditions a hungry and thirsty mouse would still try to seek out food in, and it turns out, they persevered through absolutely every obstacle to get that sweet, sweet morsel of food, including traversing an area coated in the scent of a fox — one of the mouse's most feared predators.

While the experiment performed in the laboratory was on mice, and it's easy to think that our superior human brains would simply guffaw at such a test, it's not so. Put two people suffering the awful shakes of hangriness in a room together and tell them they have to fight to win a cheeseburger; they'd probably put their dukes up before the announcement even finished.

In fact, if every difficult decision in life offered a cheeseburger at the end of it, we would probably have a lot more volunteers, because food is awesome, and your brain is literally thinking about it all the time. There's a reason that people pop out of the woodwork like termites when "free food" is mentioned, and that's because we are all just fleshy-sacks of muscle propelled through life by our stomachs.

All animals are driven by instincts deep within our brains that are screaming "SURVIVE!" at us through tiny bullhorns all day long, so it isn't hard to see why people can sometimes become monstrously angry when they're hungry, or why food is such a comfort when they're depressed.

It also explains why people celebrate absolutely every event by eating food, because it's a sign that things are good and happy. Even marketers will try and use food to make unpleasant things seem more appealing, because honestly, our stomachs will do the work for them and guide our feet right to that delicious smell — even if it's next to the man trying to sell us something we don't want or need. Just put free samples on the end of the hooks and reel 'em on in!

So next time you're noticing yourself getting irritated and you can't really understand why, go have a Snickers or something, because you're probably hungry. And let's face it: You're just not yourself when your stomach thinks you're dying.