Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Blame game: Sleepier college students are more likely to blame others and plan revenge

Date:
July 7, 2011
Source:
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Summary:
Sleepier people are more likely to imagine how outcomes could have been better than reality and think about how the behavior of others could have produced better outcomes, a new study finds. In contrast, sleepier people were not more likely to imagine how their own behavior could have produced better outcomes. Sleepiness also was positively correlated with all three subscales of displaced aggression: angry rumination, behavioral displaced aggression and revenge planning. The study involved 108 college students.

Sleepier college students are more likely to think about what others could have done to make things better, even to the extent of planning revenge, suggests a research abstract being presented in Minneapolis, Minn., at SLEEP 2011, the 25th Anniversary Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC (APSS).

Results show that sleepiness was positively correlated with counterfactual think¬ing, which involves thoughts about how events in the past could have been different. Sleepier people were more likely to imagine how outcomes could have been better than reality and think about how the behavior of others could have produced better outcomes. In contrast, sleepier people were not more likely to imagine how their own behavior could have produced better outcomes. Sleepiness also was positively correlated with all three subscales of displaced aggression: angry rumination, behavioral displaced aggression and revenge planning.

According to the authors, research has shown that sleepiness negatively impacts mood and impairs the integration of emotion and cognitions when making moral judgments. However, no prior studies had investigated how sleepiness affects social cognitions such as counterfac¬tual 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," said principal investigator David Mastin, PhD, associate professor of psychology at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Mastin noted that previous research has suggested that counterfactual thinkers might be more motivated and analytical. However, the current study suggests that sleepiness 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."

Mastin, along with co-authors Julie Steel, PhD, and Brittany Berry from UALR, and Jennifer Peszka, PhD, from Hendrix College, gathered data from 108 college students with a mean age of 24 years; 75 percent were women. Participants provided sociodemographic data and completed self-report questionnaires including the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, the Counterfactual Thinking for Negative Events Scale, and the Displaced Aggression Questionnaire.

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," Mastin said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Academy of Sleep Medicine. "Blame game: Sleepier college students are more likely to blame others and plan revenge." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110615015141.htm>.
American Academy of Sleep Medicine. (2011, July 7). Blame game: Sleepier college students are more likely to blame others and plan revenge. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110615015141.htm
American Academy of Sleep Medicine. "Blame game: Sleepier college students are more likely to blame others and plan revenge." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110615015141.htm (accessed April 21, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, April 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) — The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) — A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) — Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins