Story by Annika Grassl
A New York Times story this week cited a study by two professors from Harvard and the University of Utah, respectively, who studied two different groups of people at two different times of the day.
The participants were given the same tests, but at different times of the day to see how fatigue affected their work and moral character.
The study found that afternoon fatigue makes cheating, dishonesty and immoral action more likely with those subjects who were given the tests between 8 a.m. and noon rather than those given the test between noon and 6 p.m.
The results of the study were published in “Psychological Science.”
This simple test was to see if the people given the test could count more dots on the right side of a screen than the left side of the screen after they were told that they would get more money it there were able to count more dots on the right side of the screen then the left.
Another portion of the study was online.
The participants in this portion of the study were more likely to cheat solving a math problem the later in the day that the online exam was given to them.
The study concluded that a person is more likely to act in immoral ways as time goes by.
The New York Times article said, “(The people conducting the study) believe that the implications of what they call the morning-morality effect are obvious: When you find yourself faced with an opportunity to misbehave, be especially vigilant if it’s late in the day.”
Do Drake University students see the connection between a lack of sleep and an increased likelihood that they cheat on an exam, or in other moral behavior?
First-year student Brenna Paukert explained how she sees where people are coming from when they do unethical things as they get tired.
She said if you are an ethical person, you are still going to do the right thing in certain situations.
Paukert continued to explain how she is less likely to do work well when she is not motivated from being tired.
“I think we all have witnessed ourselves and others. You can see the wear and tear on people as they get tired and just need a break because they are tired,” Paukert said.
First-year student Ethan Turner agreed with Paukert.
He said that being tired doesn’t affect his morals, but it affects his quality of work.
“I shouldn’t copy my work from someone else who may be just as tired as I am because their work may not be that good either,” Turner said.