ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2020, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (1): 141-149.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2020.00141

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The effect of hunger on cognition and social behavior and its mechanism

XIE Jiaquan1,2, XIE Changyi3, YANG Wendeng1,2()   

  1. 1 Center for Psychology and Brain Science, Guangzhou University
    2 The Key Laboratory for Juveniles Mental Health and Educational Neuroscience in Guangdong Province, Guangzhou 510006, China
    3 Faculty of Education, Monash University, Melbourne 3800, Australia
  • Received:2019-03-18 Online:2020-01-15 Published:2019-11-21
  • Contact: YANG Wendeng


The effect of hunger on individual cognition and social behavior was reviewed based on the psychological perspective. Hunger has been related to impaired general cognitive function, biased cognition and decision-making. Other literature has evidenced that hunger can alter social attitude, reduce moral judgment standard and induce aggressive behavior. Three hypotheses discussed in previous literature were summarized: ego-depletion hypojournal, cognitive activation hypojournal and coordination mechanism hypojournal, all of which attempt to explain the psychological mechanism driving the effects of hunger. Upon evaluating the literature, it can be pointed out that existing researches have problems such as different subjective feelings of hunger, inaccurate measurement methods. Thus, a suggestion for future research is to focus on how to improve the validity of hunger measurement and explore the internal mechanism of hunger effect on the multiple physiological, psychological and social layers.

Key words: hunger, cognitive function, moral cognition, social attitude, aggressive behavior

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