Research shows sleepyheads more than grumpy

(Medical Xpress) -- Sleepiness negatively impacts mood and impairs the integration of emotion and cognition when making moral judgments, even to the extent of planning revenge, a UALR psychology professor said in a research abstract presented at the SLEEP 2011 conference in Minneapolis, Minn.

Dr. David Mastin, associate professor of psychology in UALR’s College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, said the study investigated, for the first time, the thoughts that may accompany the symptoms of sleepiness.

Research findings, presented at the the 25th Anniversary Meeting of the Associated Professional Societies LLC (APSS).

According to Mastin, the findings have practical implications for interpersonal relationships, such as in workplace interactions and performance evaluations. The study also makes an important contribution to the understanding of social decision making.

“It may be that sleepiness-related changes in social cognition will lead to a greater understanding of emotional intelligence and suggest methods of coping,” he said.

Sleepier college students are more likely to think about what others could have done to make things better. Mastin and his co-researchers said the findings show that sleepiness negatively impacts mood and impairs the integration of emotion and cognitions when making . No prior studies had investigated how sleepiness affects social cognitions such as counterfactual thinking and displaced aggression.

“The sleepier people are, in this case college students, the more likely they are to engage in thinking about what might have been, called ‘counterfactual thinking,’ and to engage in more thoughts about displaced aggression,” Mastin said.

Previous research has suggested that counterfactual thinkers might be more motivated and analytical. However, the new study suggests that heightens the negative side of counterfactual thinking.

“Sleepier people seem to engage in counterfactual thinking that is more dissatisfied and perhaps more selfish,” said Mastin. “It may be that the sleepier you are, the more likely your musings are to be angry thoughts about how others could have done better.”

Related Stories

Sleep deprivation affects moral judgment

date Mar 01, 2007

Research has shown that bad sleep can adversely affect a person's physical health and emotional well-being. However, the amount of sleep one gets can also influence his or her decision-making. A study published in the March ...

Critical thinking called into question

date Feb 04, 2011

A post-secondary education won’t necessarily guarantee students the critical thinking skills employers have come to expect from university grads, says a recent study.

Recommended for you

Physician/Pharmacist model can improve mean BP

date Mar 27, 2015

(HealthDay)—A physician/pharmacist collaborative model can improve mean blood pressure (BP), according to a study published online March 24 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

Innovative prototype presented for post-ICU patients

date Mar 27, 2015

(HealthDay)—A collaborative care model, the Critical Care Recovery Center (CCRC), represents an innovative prototype aimed to improve the quality of life of intensive care unit (ICU) survivors, according ...

Clues to a city's health may be found in its sewage

date Mar 27, 2015

Research from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee suggests that sampling a city's sewage can tell scientists a great deal about its residents – and may someday lead to improvements in public health.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.