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The Relationship Between Hunger and Framing


Framing is used by many companies to make products highly appealing to customers. The tactic captures the buyers’ weak senses to make them feel attracted to the product for prompt buying. For example, products whose price matter the most to buyers will bear positive price framing, while those whose taste matters most will utilize taste to attract purchasers. Framing is based on appealing customers’ emotions, and hunger is one of the positive emotions. Notably buyers’ emotions are captured by positive framing as opposed to negative framing more easily. Therefore, hunger triggers favorable reaction to positive framing.

How hunger and Framing Influence People’s Choices

People make irrational decisions when they are emotionally unstable, because they unknowingly seek to settle their emotional turmoil. For example, people who make purchasing decisions when frightened may not care about their prices but to acquire the products they need and flee, such as when war breaks out. Similarly, hunger drives people to make decisions with the aim of satisfying their hunger over factors such as observing the quality, appearance, and price of the concerned goods. MacCormack and Lindquist (2019) exposed that hunger causes people to make decisions impulsively. The reason is that individuals’ body glucose level influences their level of self-control, which is low in the state of hunger. Therefore, their judgement is highly impaired by feeling hungry, and the decisions they make at the time are given little mental assessment. Consequently, hunger causes people to fall easily to both positive and negative framing, but positive framing influences them more than negative.

Another way that hunger is influenced by framing is when it is a product of other emotions in people. For example, there are people who feel the need to eat to eat more than normal when they are stressed or happy (Al-Shawarf, 2016). Others eat a lot when they are bored, as opposed to when they are busy. Irrespective of the emotion that drives people to attend to their hunger, their choice of foods is driven by their perception of it based on how they appear and taste. Ordinarily, most people who engage in emotional eating turn to sweet foods to sooth their emotional distress (Macht & Simons, 2000). In the case, the taste of the foods is the framing that attracts their choice even if it is unhealthy in composition. For example, many people turn to fatty foods when stressed because they are attractive in appearance, sweet and cheap, such as fries and ice cream. Therefore, hunger can be a product state of other emotions and drives people to make decisions regarding consumption based on how they think of the concerned products.

Framing influences the cognitive ability of people to make decisions based on how it is done. Positive framing focuses on the positive attributes of an item, while negative framing is based on the inferior characteristic. For example, one product can be advertised as 90% natural, and another as only 10% processed. People will go for the first because it portrays the large positive part and causes people to only think of what they are gaining, while the second framing attracts few buyers because consumers think about what they lose in purchasing the product. The reason buyers’ cognitive power is low when people are exposed to positive framing is that people are naturally created to systematically assess situations ad come up with solutions when they feel threatened (Kuvaas & Selart, 2004). The threat is only noticed when negativity is detected and the persons feel the need to protect themselves. The sense is triggered when people see negative frames because they think how that negative aspect will affect them, and the need to evade it. Conversely, positive framing communicates safety to the brain the needlessness to assess the situation any further. As a result, the customers decide to acquire the item whose description is positively framed without thinking about the negative features it may bear.

Framing also influences people’s choices because it affects their decision-making power. Humans are created to make rational decisions consistently. Therefore, similar factors generally attract same decisions, such as approval of situations that appear beneficial. Notably, all people are risk-averse and aim at operating at levels that offer them the maximum benefits possible and lowest losses. They will avoid losses even when there are gains as long as they can see the exposure. Framing has the power to reverse people’s understanding of risks because facts that influence their judgement are misrepresented (Carpenter, 2013). Therefore, they will make the choice that appears safe as opposed to exposing them to risks. Unfortunately, manufacturers understand their products more than the buyers, and buyers are obliged to believe what the product owners tell them and the customers have confidence in the sellers. Therefore, framing causes people to believe what they see and perceive items in only the exposed sense.


Framing influences the way people respond to information because it impacts their emotions. Further, people’s emotional state may influence their choice of products, such as hunger driving people to purchase products they do not need, or that they think can benefit them, while they lack benefits in reality. Therefore, people’s choices are influences extensively by their emotional state such as hunger, emotions that trigger hunger, and the framing of the items people see.


Al-Shawarf, L. (2016). The evolutionary psychology of hunger. Elsevier, 105, 591-595. file:///C:/Users/user/Downloads/The%20evolutionary%20psychology%20of%20hunger.pdf

Carpenter, S. (2013). Framing effects. Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison. file:///C:/Users/user/Downloads/FramingEffects.pdf

Kuvaas, B., & Selart, M. (2004). Effects of attribute framing on cognitive processing and evaluation. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes95(2), 198–207.

Macht, M. & Simons, G. (2000). Emotions and eating in everyday life. Appetite, 35(1), 65-71. 10.1006/appe.2000.0325

MacCormack, J., & Lindquist, K. (2019). Feeling hangry? When hunger is conceptualized as emotion. American Psychological Association, 19(2), 301-319.


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