Psychological Properties Of Ya
Sample - 1128 words essay topic, essay writing: Psychological Properties Of Ya
.. s theory. For example, since subjects are naturally becoming sleepy in the hour before retiring (thus causing the arousal level to drop), the yawn may be the body's way of resisting fatigue by inducing arousal. Once the subjects went to bed no yawns were reported; they had, in effect, 'given in'; to being tired and no longer needed to induce arousal. Finally, since yawning frequency did not change with amount of sleep the previous night, the results of the study suggest that yawning is not related to sleep depravation. This study provides valuable evidence to support the theory that yawning is a mediator of arousal. However, its results would have more credibility if the authors had used a larger and more diverse sample.
The sample consisted overwhelmingly of females, and although no studies had yet shown that yawning patterns differ between the sexes in human beings, research has suggested that gender differences exist in the yawning patterns of rats and fish. Since the study that follows confirms the conclusions drawn above, these shortcomings can be overlooked. The authors of the final study (3) tie together the two studies above and make new conclusions based upon the findings. By measuring both physical and psychological factors, the study sought to provide evidence for two theories: first, that yawning is associated with changes in activity levels, and second, that yawning is not affected by sleep depravation. One of the foundations for their assertion that yawning increases with frequent shifts in activity come from observations of different species of mammals
Sedentary animals, such as herbivores, rarely yawn; carnivores, on the other hand, constantly switch between periods of activity and inactivity and were found to yawn much more. The authors performed a two-part correlational study to determine the specific link between activity levels and yawning in humans. Like the authors of the previous study, they predicted that yawning would increase during low activity levels and decrease when subjects were more active. They also predicted that amount of sleep would not affect how much subjects yawned. The first experiment of the study included six professional adults (three male and three female) aged 29 to 55. Subjects wore a device called a Monologger Actigraph, which consisted of a button that subjects pressed every time they yawned and a monitor that measured activity level as expressed by heart rate.
The devices were worn 24 hours a day for two weeks. The second part of the study used a self-report method to determine if there is a connection between sleep depravity and yawning. 17 male and 28 female college students recorded the amount of hours slept each night and the number of times they yawned each day. (The time awake was calculated by subtracting the time slept at night from 24 hours; naps were not accounted for.)The results of both experiments concur with the authors' predictions. In the first part of the study, nearly all of the yawns examined were followed by an increase in activity within fifteen minutes of the onset of the yawn. Out of 704 yawns, only 43 did not precede such an increase. In agreement with previous experiments, the authors noted that the most frequent periods of yawning were in the hour after waking up and the hour before going to bed.
The second part of the study, also concurring with previous research, showed that there is no correlation between amount of sleep and frequency of yawning. The subjects' frequency of yawning was nearly the same on weekdays and weekends, even though they slept significantly more on the weekends. This data shows a simple relationship between yawning and activity level, and it can be concluded that yawning is a reliable predictor of an upcoming increase in activity level. Therefore, the authors suggest that yawns serve as a marker of a change in activity level, as well as being regulators of arousal. The study also disproves the common notion that sleep deprivation is a cause of yawning. The results clearly indicate that yawning frequency does not change when the amount of sleep changes. As was the case with the previous study, the results of this experiment would be more accurate with the use of a larger and more diverse sample, particularly in the first experiment. Although the gender ratio was equal this time, all subjects were 'professionals'; who led very similar lifestyles.
To get an accurate representation of the human population, people of different lifestyles and professions should be included in the sample. The studies described above provide conclusive evidence that yawning is closely related to increases in activity and arousal levels. For the most part all results are an agreement, but one minor discrepancy should be clarified. In the first study it was shown that yawning had no affect on heart rate, yet in the third study heart rate was used to show an increase in activity level. These results do not contradict each other because the first study was aimed at finding whether yawning itself had a direct affect on heart rate, while the third study used heart rate as an indicator of increase of activity from external sources.
Yawning itself apparently does not cause in increase in heart rate. It does, however, indicate an increase in general arousal - often the result of an increase in activity - which causes the heart rate to go up. Psychologists and physiologists have taken the findings from these studies and built upon them to from more definitive hypotheses about yawning and its origins and functions. It has been more recently suggested that yawning is related to cortical arousal - that is, the flow of blood to the cerebral region of the brain. If this is true, than the function of yawning serves the extremely important purpose of helping the most sensitive region of the body maintain proper blood pressure. In addition, evolutionary biologists have proposed that yawning has become such a frequent and important part of animal physiology because it serves a protective purpose. In some situations that lack the necessary external stimulation, low arousal could threaten an animal's life.
According to this theory, yawning has evolved as a guard against inattentiveness by inducing arousal in certain situations. A modern example of this is driving; stimulation is low, yet failure to pay attention is extremely dangerous. Based on the evidence presented by the three studies evaluated, some general conclusions about the nature of yawning can be drawn. Apparently yawning serves as both a mechanism to induce arousal and an indicator of an increase in activity levels. In addition, the common notion that yawning is associated with sleep depravation has been debunked.
However, the study of yawns is a relatively new field of research for the psychological and scientific community, and more research is necessary to determine the exact purpose of its existence.
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