Ultimately, two factors control how hangry we feel: context and self-awareness.

The team’s first experiment involved more than 400 American participants who were each shown an image designed to induce positive, neutral or negative emotions. Then, they were shown an ambiguous image – a Chinese pictograph – and asked to rate the image on a seven-point scale from pleasant to unpleasant. Participants were also asked to disclose how hungry they felt.

According to findings, the hungrier the participants were, the more likely they were to rate the Chinese pictographs as negative images. There was no effect noted for neutral or positive images.