Can An Empty Stomach Lead To An Empty Wallet?

Researchers from the University of Minnesotas Carlson School of Management say that if you are looking to save money on your next shopping trip, you should eat something before you go. According to their research, hunger increases our intention to acquire not only food, but also non-food items.

Five studies were conducted for the research. One of the studies consisted of a survey that measured two groups interest in a common office supply. The participants did not eat for at least four hours. One groups hunger was eliminated through a blind test of cakes, and the other group proceeded directly to the survey on binder clips. Both groups were provided the opportunity to request as many samples of the clips as they wanted. The results revealed that the hungry group opted for 70 percent more of the product.

In another study, researchers examined the relationship between purchases at a mall and the groups degree of hunger. The group was surveyed after shopping and their purchases were analyzed. They were all given the same amount of time to shop. The hungrier shoppers spent 64 percent more money than those who were less hungry.

"Hunger makes us think about seeking, acquiring, and consuming food," says Alison Jing Xu, assistant professor of marketing at the Carlson School. "The acquisition-related thoughts can spill over and put us in a mode of also getting non-food items even though they are incapable of satisfying our hunger. If you go for a shopping trip with an empty stomach you may spend more money and buy more stuff than you otherwise would have. Why not feed yourself before a shopping trip? Alternately, if you are hungry and you have to make purchasing decisions, think twice before you buy. "

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