Daily feelings of hunger can be linked to negative emotionality. This is what researchers at the Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences (KL) found in a study that was recently published in the renowned scientific journal PLOS ONE. The experience-sampling project with student participation on "hangry", the simultaneous occurrence of feelings of hunger and negative emotions, was conducted together with Anglia Ruskin University, UK. The special feature: an app developed at KL made this research possible in the "field", i.e. in the everyday life of the participants.
The colloquial term "hangry" refers to the hypothesis that people feel anger under certain conditions when they are hungry. So far, however, only a few studies have directly determined the extent to which there is actually a connection between hunger and negative emotions. In order to scientifically investigate this theory and collect empirical data, Univ. Prof. Dr. Stefan Stieger, PD, Head of the Department of Psychological Methodology at the Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences (KL), and colleagues investigated this question. The basis for this was the "ESMira" app developed at the private university. Prof. Stieger explains in detail: "The app is a tool for the scientific implementation of long-term studies, in which communication with participants and data collection is completely anonymous. Studies can be easily created centrally and participants can use either iOS, Android or the browser. We developed this software to integrate our research questions and participation directly into people's everyday lives. That is also the special feature of this design. The longer time period also allows us to identify causal relationships." Especially with this topic, the perception threshold is a problem, says Stieger: "People rarely remember individual aspects of their hunger feeling and any emotions about it at the end of the day. Therefore, questionnaires were sent out via the app shortly before the main meals."