But to hunger???
Trying to determine the how hunger affects what we want and what we like, a research team got some surprising answers.
1. Outside a department store that primarily sold nonfood items, they gathered data on what 81 shoppers bought and how happy and hungry they were. Using information from store receipts and a survey with a happiness and hunger scale, they concluded that people who were hungrier bought more, even though it was not food.
2. Stopping 89 students who were either entering or leaving a cafe, researchers looked at each participant’s desire to acquire food and nonfood items or services and how much they liked the food and nonfood items or services. While the food answers were what we would expect (being hungry increased their wanting and liking), for nonfood, again the hungrier participants wanted more but interestingly they did not like those items more.
These are the items they were asked about before or after eating:
The entire study was composed of five different experiments. And even in the part that just involved paper clips, hungry people wanted to acquire more of them.
Our Bottom Line: Change in Demand
Rooted in logic, our demand changes in response to a list of determinants that includes income, taste, substitutes and complements. Now though, if we add hunger, the logic seems to evaporate. If we do not even like a good or a service more, why would hunger increase what we are willing to spend? We can ask a behavioral economist for some answers.
Below you can see how hunger affects a demand curve.