Food and Behaviour Research

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Low glucose relates to greater aggression in married couples

Bushman BJ, Dewall CN, Pond RS Jr, Hanus MD. (2014) Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Apr 14   

Web URL: View this and related abstracts via PubMed here


Intimate partner violence affects millions of people globally. One possible contributing factor is poor self-control. Self-control requires energy, part of which is provided by 

For 21 days, 
glucose levels were measured in 107 married couples. To measure aggressive impulses, each evening participants stuck between 0 and 51 pins into a voodoo doll that represented their spouse, depending how angry they were with their spouse. To measure aggression, participants competed against their spouse on a 25-trial task in which the winner blasted the loser with loud noise through headphones.

As expected, the lower the level of 
glucose in the blood, the greater number of pins participants stuck into the voodoo doll, and the higher intensity and longer duration of noise participants set for their spouse.