Hunger increases delay discounting of food and non-food rewards

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Description: How do our brains' valuation systems change to homeostatically correct undesirable psychological or physiological states, such as those caused by fasting? There is abundant evidence that fasting will increase the salience of proximate food rewards: don't go food shopping when hungry. However, it is not understood how fasting modulates delay discounting (the devaluation of delayed rewards) for non-food items. With a repeated-measures design and an experimental fasting manipulation, we find strong evidence that fasting causes large increases in delay discounting for food, with an approximately 22% spillover effect to non-food commodities. Our results support the emerging view that hunger has widespread affects on many decision making mechanisms, and we implicate delay discounting as one of these affected mechanisms. Given that strong delay discounting can cause negative outcomes in many non-food (consumer, investment, medical, or inter-personal) domains, our data suggest a role for cautionary decision making when hungry.

License: CC-By Attribution 4.0 International

Has supplemental materials for Hunger increases delay discounting of food and non-food rewards on PsyArXiv


This is the OSF project for the paper: Skrynka, J. & Vincent, B. T. (under review) Subjective hunger, not blood glucose, influences domain general time preference. Data and analysis scripts are available in the GitHub component below. To view the analysis scripts, please view the *.ipynb files in the analysis folder. Click on for more information. CURRENT STATUS: Not peer reviewed. Cite...


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