The Biological Clock Does Not Influence Task Performance, Study Suggests

The Biological Clock Does Not Influence Task Performance

Psychology News – A study reveals how sleepiness negatively affects the way a task is performed. It denies the established belief that our biological clock determines the efficiency of task performance.

A news study refutes the long-held belief that the efficiency of task performance depends on the biological clock. Instead, it links the timing of peak performance to the time when humans are least sleepy.

Researchers at Washington State University tested participants’ task performance with three different cognitive tests. These assessed their ability to stay focused and process information and how sleepy they were.

The participants were put in a simulated day or night shift schedule for three days. This step helped unlink the effects of the biological clock on their task performance and sleep schedule.

After completing the shifts, they were kept awake for 24 hours in a semi-reclined position, given snacks every hour, and were kept under constant light exposure and room temperature. The researchers also drew blood samples from participants to determine levels of melatonin, a hormone that reflects a body’s biological clock. This step helped to study how external influences generated internal biological rhythms in humans.

Every two hours, the participants also completed the three distinct cognitive tests. The researchers also tested the participants and other real-life shift workers with cognitive tests to confirm their findings, which were published in Clocks & Sleep.

The findings show that sleepiness decreases the efficiency of task performance, irrespective of the time of the day or the biological clock.

The results also claim that, even if the biological clock determines the best time of the day for performance—the peak timing of performance varies from individual to individual, depending on how sleepy or awake that person is.

The researchers are confident that findings of studies like this can help people optimize their cognitive tasks and performance habits at work and home. They can increase their productivity and the quality of critical tasks by performing them when they feel the least sleepy.

One of the co authors, Amanda Hudson, elaborated, “Given that shift work can make workers particularly sleepy, knowing the optimal timing for different tasks is especially important in shift work settings.”

To Know More You May Relate To

Muck, R. A., Hudson, A. N., Honn, K. A., Gaddameedhi, S., & Van Dongen, H. (2022). Working around the Clock: Is a Person’s Endogenous Circadian Timing for Optimal Neurobehavioral Functioning Inherently Task-Dependent?. Clocks & sleep, 4(1), 23–36.

Up Next

Can Talking To Strangers Help With Depression?

Can Talking To Strangers Ease Depression

Mental Health News

A group of researchers at the University of Sussex explored how talking to strangers can reduce depression. The study is published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

The Study

The researchers recruited participants on a weekly basis. The latter played a scavenger hunt game using a mobile app called GooseChase. They then had to talk to a stranger or simply observe the stranger.

After the experiment, they completed “General” and “Daily” surveys. They also answered pre-conversation and post-conversation questionnaires that assesse

Up Next

Partying With A Purpose: Are There Mental Health Benefits Of Celebrations?

What Are The Mental Health Benefits Of Celebrations

A recent study explored the health benefits of celebrations.

Experts have linked celebrations to reduced risks of mental health conditions.

Why Are Healthy Celebrations Beneficial?

Social celebrations are joyous occasions that essentially include eating, drinking, and gathering together. A recent study conducted by Indiana University revealed that such celebrations are beneficial for health, mental and physical. Its benefits include:

Perceived social support in c

Up Next

False Memories: Why Do Psychopaths Forget Negative Events?

False Memories

Psychology News

A team of researchers at the University of Bari, Italy, explored the link between psychopathy and the creation of false memories. The study is published in the British Journal of Psychology.

The Study

The researchers asked 120 participants, aged 18–65 years, to complete the Psychopathic Personality Inventory. They assessed the participants’ self-centered impulsivity, fearless dominance, and cold-heartedness.

The latter

Up Next

Parents’ Political Ideology Impacts How Their Children Punish Others: Study

Parents’ Political Ideology Impacts

Psychology News

A team of researchers at New York University explored how parents’ political ideology dictates their children’s punishment for others. The study is published in the journal Psychological Science.

The Study

The researchers examined 269 children, aged 3−8 years, and their parents from across the United States. They conducted a series of experiments and surveys.

The children were subject to conditions in which they would demonstrate the need to meet out punishment to others within and outside a social group. On the other hand, the parents completed a qu

Up Next

Research Reveals How Stress Affects Romantic Relationships

How Stress Affects Romantic Relationships

Mental Health News

A team of researchers at the University of Texas, Austin, explored how stress affects romantic relationships. The study is published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

The Study

The researchers surveyed a daily diary study of 79 newlywed couples. They assessed factors like stressful life events, partner’s negative and positive behaviors, partner perception, etc.

The Findings

The results revealed that

Billy Milligan: The Man With “24” Faces The Boy Who Stayed Awake For 11 Days Straight How Netflix’s “Wednesday” Explores Adolescent Stress And Therapy What Harry Potter Teaches Us About Mental Health? Nocturnal Panic Attacks: What are they & how to recover 10 Best Healthy Foods To Beat The Holiday Blues What Are The Struggles During Holidays & 5 Ways To Prevent It Holiday Depression: 13 Tips To Beat Holiday Blues I am feeling so “behind” in life 7 Frustrating Things About Living With BPD Are You An Impulse Shopper? 9 Tips To Stop Impulse Buying The Healing Power Of Music Therapy