The hunger + aggressive behavior link
"Correlation doesn't imply causation" is the one fact everyone retained from attending four years of college. But Dr. Bushman and other smartypants teamed up for two separate studies that make the case for hanger being a real, verifiable thing.
The Sweetened Blood Cools Hot Tempers Study
Along with help from researchers at the University of Kentucky and OSU, Dr. Bushman recruited college students and randomly assigned them into groups. A great start to a study, if you ask us!
OK, so one group of students was served lemonade sweetened with sugar, while the other got lemonade sweetened with Splenda. Sugar has calories, which provide fuel for the brain. Splenda does no such thing. And as it turns out, people can't tell the difference between the two types of lemonade. Then the students were "given a chance to blast an ostensible opponent with loud noise through headphones." Damn, that's metal! And an aggressive behavior. What happened?
The Dr. explains: "The college students were more aggressive against a complete stranger if they drank the lemonade sweetened with Splenda." Splenda has no calories, and therefore they didn't have the self-control they needed to not be annoyed.
The Sweet Revenge Study
In this study, Bushman and other researchers recruited couples from across the country. Their hypothesis was that by studying the couples for 23 days, they'd discover that if one person in the relationship had diabetic symptoms (like fatigue), they'd be less likely to forgive their significant other if they were wronged.
Bad news: they were right. "As expected, diabetic symptoms correlated negatively with cooperative behavior, b = (-.16, t(176) = -2.17, p = .03, r = -0.16." DUH, RIGHT? No, seriously, that math is real. It continues, "type 2 diabetic symptoms related to less actual forgiving behavior."
Here's the bottom line -- if you're in a relationship with someone who's hangry a lot, don't expect an apology anytime soon after you get into a fight.