Being Hangry Is The Most Motivated You Can Feel, Says Science

For the uninitiated, the term ‘hangry’ originated in the mid-2000s and is described by most as: “when you are so hungry that your lack of food causes you to become angry, frustrated or both”.

I’d wager that some of the most risky and rash decisions throughout history have been made on an empty stomach. Hanger has the potential to ruin relationships, destroy lives and completely level cities. It is not something to be taken lightly.


That said, like nuclear power and garlic mayonnaise, every seismic and potentially dangerous force can be used for the powers of good and progression of human kind. This applies to hanger too.

Previously believed to be the most unpredictable force, a new study in Neuron has found that hunger is “a more powerful [motivating] force than thirst, fear or social interaction”.

I think that’s a weird mix of motivating forces. Does that suggest that if you were at a party full of strangers that don’t like you and you forgot to bring your own drinks, would you be the most motivated you’ve ever been?

But let’s a conversation for another day – let’s talk getting hangry.


So how do even test the motivating power of hunger? Well, with mice apparently.

Mice were lined up in a course with a crossroads of two paths. Only one of the paths had food at the end with other conditions added to simulate fear, thirst and social interactions. In all three runs the mice chose the food path regardless of the other motivators!

And you’re probably thinking: “I’m smarter than a mouse”. Trust us, we know but think about this: when you come back from work and you get an invitation to go out, how strong is the urge to just blow it off and cook/order a huge meal of comfort food? The behaviour is similar!


The pursuit of food has never been so noble!