Published On: Fri, Feb 12th, 2016

Restlessness can be a big problem for you



A recent research study has revealed a stunning report which would be beneficial for police interrogation practices and it asserted that sleep-deprived people are more likely to falsely confess to wrongdoings that they have never performed.

The researchers of the study found that the probabilities of signing a bogus confession were 4.5 times elevated for participants who had been awake for 24 hours than the people who had slept eight hours the night earlier. Kimberly M Fenn, who is an associate professor at Michigan State University, stated that “This is the first direct evidence that sleep deprivation increases the likelihood that a person will falsely confess to wrongdoing that never occurred,”

Fenn further told that “It’s a crucial first step towards understanding the role of sleep deprivation in false confessions and, in turn, raises complex questions about the use of sleep deprivation in the interrogation of innocent and guilty suspects,” Bogus confessions in the US are considered to account for 15-25 percent of illegal convictions. Earlier research has pointed to that the questioning of the restless people, perhaps sleep-deprived suspects are usual.

To conduct the study, 88 participants accomplished different computer activities and a cognitive test all through numerous laboratory sessions more than a week-long period. Verities of warnings were given to the participants that to not hit “escape” key for the reason that “this could cause the computer to lose valuable data.” Participants were observed all through the tasks. On the final day of the test, half of the participants slept for eight hours whereas the other half stayed awake overnight.

Prior than departing the lab next morning, each participant was shown a statement summarizing their activities and wrongly claiming the participant had pressed the escape key. It was said to participants to sign the statement, ensure a box verifying its accurateness and sign their name. The findings were striking: 50 percent of sleep-deprived participants signed the fake confession, whereas just 18 percent of rested participants signed it.

Additional, sleep deficiency had an important effect on participants who scored less on the Cognitive Reflection Test, which is interrelated to intelligence. Those participants were very much probable to sign the fake confession. The research study was cited in the journal PNAS.

About the Author

Sidra Muntaha

- Sidra Tul Muntaha is a journalist (MA-Mass Communication and M.Phil in Mass Communication) based in Lahore. She is working as an editor at fashion, style and entertainment in the section of the Kooza. She writes fashion and entertainment articles for The Kooza News.