Sleep Depression, Depletion & Aggressive Behavior Article Evaluation paper Does sleep deprivation affect a person’s self-control? Does the availability of one’s self-control be affected by the lack of sleep? Nonetheless, Can sleep deprivation cause someone to display more aggressive behaviors? A group of researchers wanted to answers these three questions. The researchers produced an experiment to explore the variable of sleep deprivation & its correlation to self-control & aggressive behavior.
According to the Limited Self Regulatory Model, self- regulation is more difficult when someone is fatigued or has limited energy. When energy of mental activity is low, a person’s self-control is impaired, a person is considered to be in a state of “depletion” (self-regulation failure. ) Fifty-eight participants were separated in two groups: sleep deprived (depletion group,) with no sleep for twenty-four hours prior to the experiment & non-sleep deprived (non-depletion group) The participants were instructed to watch unpleasant footage from two films & their reactions were observed by a video camera .
Participants in the sleep-deprived group were asked to show no facial expressions, where as the non-depletion condition were told to act naturally. Participants instructed to neutralize their facial expressions were less expressive than participants instructed to act naturally. With in the experiment, an aggression task was given to participants designed to measure their aggression. Participants were told they were going to play a trail game & to win the game they must push a key faster than online opponent.
Prior to each trial the participants were asked to set the noise level (between 0-10, 0= no sound, 10= loudest sound), which would sound at the opponent when the participant would win. After each trail the opponent’s noise choice level was displayed on the screen as one level higher than what the participant set. As a result, participants were thought to believe their opponent were more aggressive than they were, evoking aggressive behavior from the participant. Thus participants in the sleep deprived/ depletion group selected higher noise levels than non- sleep deprived/ non-depletion group.
Accordingly, the data collected supported state of sleep does not affect a person self control or influence aggressive behavior. Instead, self-control & aggressive behavior is determined by the availability of person self- regulatory resources. The method in which the experiment was conducted could be re-produced, but may be time consuming. Instead of being able to conduct one task to measure the correlation of the sleep deprivation to the questioned variables, more then one task had to be executed. I believe the external validity & the internal validity of the experiment were not passable.
The subjects were randomly assigned to the sleep deprived or non-sleep deprived group, however there was no obtained information about the participant’s sleep deprivation tolerance. Such a factor (sleep deprivation tolerance) can change the results of data. In addition, the experiment did not specifically measure whether participants who were kept awake for 24 hours were in fact sleepier than participants who got a full night’s rest. Among people, population, & races such a tolerance varies. Applying a generalization across the board can introduce bias to the experiment.
The implication that self-control & aggressive behavior is determined by the availability of a person self- regulatory resources/ability can be applied to real life. When I am tired I feel my self-control is not as available as when I am awake. If I were one of the participants in the experiment watching the film and performing the aggression task, I would not think about the way I present my emotions till after the matter: during that time my ability to think of my emotional response & how to control my emotional response would not happen/ be available to me.
With this in mind, this article relates to the functions of the self – discussed about in class. The four main functions to the self (self-knowledge, self-control, self- presentation, & self-justification) determine a person’s self- regulatory resources. The ability to look inward, examine our thoughts, feelings, mood (introspection) & control our willpower, allows us to overcome a counterproductive impulse to achieve different goals.
On the other hand, when we try hard to practice introspection & self-control, controlling the self in one context may cause us to indulge in another context, producing self-regulation failure. By large, the researchers of the experiment were looking into the function of the self & applying it real life. By conduction the experiment, the researchers discovered that the state of sleep does not affect a person self control or influence aggressive behavior, but that self-control & aggressive behavior is determined by the availability of a person self- regulatory resources.