If You Skipped Breakfast You May Be Making Riskier Financial Decisions

altStomach growling? Step away from your investments.

We stumbled upon a post on The New York Times’ Economix blog that might make you reconsider what you have for lunch.

“Do hungry people take bigger financial risks?” the article asks. What?? We thought we had enough to worry about when it came to investing, now we have to worry about our stomachs, too?

A new study put subjects on different diets to alter their metabolic states. While on these diets, subjects were asked to participate in a choice of different lotteries, ranging in their risk levels.  This was only tested on a group of 20 subjects, but results revealed a profound relationship between hunger level and risk choice: subjects who were in hungrier states chose the riskier lotteries and those who were full chose the safer (risk-averse) lotteries.

If it’s true that changes in our metabolic state (and our hunger levels) alter our financial risk-taking, we might have to think twice before making any sort of decision on an empty stomach.


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