What Would You Decide After 53 Hours Without Sleep?
On top of hurting your health and damaging your memory, it seems lack of sleep can also influence your moral decision-making skills. A study by researchers at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research tested 26 healthy adults on the course of action to take in various moral dilemnas at both a well-rested baseline and after 53 hours without sleep. They found that while participants didn't have much trouble with non-moral questions, they had to deliberate quite a while longer about what was "appropriate" when they were lacking rest. Researchers say this is because losing sleep disrupts activity in parts of the brain critical to decision making:
The findings suggest that continuous wakefulness has a particularly debilitating effect on judgment and decision making processes that depend heavily upon the integration of emotion with cognition, said [researcher William D.S.] Killgore, adding that the results provide further support to the hypothesis that sleep loss is particularly disruptive to the ventromedial prefrontal regions of the brain, which are important for the integration of affect and cognition in the service of judgment and decision making.These findings are of particular importance to emergency rooms, military combat and other settings in which workers may endure long stretches without sleep and are frequently required to make moral judgments.
Read more: Journal Sleep: Sleep deprivation affects moral judgment
ABSTRACT: The Effects of 53 Hours of Sleep Deprivation on Moral Judgment
Posted In: Sleep Disorders |
Posted by FindCounseling.com Staff on March 02, 2007 at 10:35 AM | Permalink
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