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U Of M Study: Hungry Shopping Can Influence Nonfood Purchases, Too

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A recent University of Minnesota study has revealed that being hungry while shopping not only influences our desire to buy food, but also our desire to buy other nonfood objects.

In one of five studies conducted by the Carlson School of Management, hungry participants opted for 70 percent more products than a group of participants who were fed prior to the survey.

"Hunger makes us think about seeking, acquiring, and consuming food," Alison Jing Xu, assistant professor of marketing at the Carlson School, said. "The acquisition-related thoughts can spill over and put us in a mode of also getting nonfood items even though they are incapable of satisfying our hunger."

Another study found that hungrier shoppers at a large department store were found to have spent 64 percent more money than those less hungry.

"If you go for a shopping trip with an empty stomach you may spend more money and buy more stuff than you otherwise would," Xu said. "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. "

The research appears in the current issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


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