Anyone who has ever tried to diet knows it is a little stressful, but new studies show it may be more anger inducing than we thought!
In a study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, 4 experiments show "that exerting self-control makes people more likely to behave aggressively toward others and people on diets are known to be irritable and quick to anger."
In the first study, people who chose an apple instead of a chocolate bar were more likely to choose movies with anger and revenge themes than milder movies.
In the second, participants who exerted financial restraint by choosing a gift certificate for groceries over one for a spa service showed more interest in looking at angry faces rather than at fearful ones.
In a third, dieters had more favourable opinions toward a public policy message that used an anger-inducing appeal – if funds are not increased for police training, more criminals will escape prison – than they did toward a sad message.
Lastly, participants who chose a healthy snack over a tastier less-healthy one were more irritated by a marketer's message that came across as dictatorial.
The study authors said of their experiment:
"We set out to examine whether exerting self-control can indeed lead to a wide range of angry behaviours and preferences subsequently, even in situations where such behaviours are quite subtle."
In effect, the authors wrote:
"Public policy-makers need to be more aware of the potential negative emotions resulting from encouraging the public to exert more self control in daily choices."
We never would have thought, but can totally understand where these emotions come from.
Dieting is hard! We just have to remember we are doing it for a positive reason and try to monitor our negative emotions.
[Image via AP Images.]