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Effects of Total and Partial Sleep Deprivation on Reflection Impulsivity and Risk-Taking in Deliberative Decision-Making

Authors Salfi F, Lauriola M, Tempesta D, Calanna P, Socci V, De Gennaro L, Ferrara M

Received 20 February 2020

Accepted for publication 8 May 2020

Published 27 May 2020 Volume 2020:12 Pages 309—324


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Steven A Shea

Federico Salfi,1 Marco Lauriola,2 Daniela Tempesta,1 Pierpaolo Calanna,3 Valentina Socci,1 Luigi De Gennaro,4 Michele Ferrara1

1Department of Biotechnological and Applied Clinical Sciences, University of L’Aquila, L’Aquila, Italy; 2Department of Social and Developmental Psychology, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy; 3Department of Dynamic and Clinical Psychology, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy; 4Department of Psychology, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy

Correspondence: Michele Ferrara
Department of Biotechnological and Applied Clinical Sciences, University of L’Aquila, Via Vetoio (Coppito 2), Coppito 67100, AQ, Italy

Study Objectives: To evaluate the effects of total and partial sleep deprivation on reflection impulsivity and risk-taking in tasks requiring deliberative decision-making processes.
Participants and Methods: Seventy-four healthy young adults were selected to participate in two independent experiments, each consisting of a crossover design. In Experiment 1, 32 participants were tested after one night of regular sleep (RS), and after one night of total sleep deprivation (TSD). In Experiment 2, 42 participants were tested following five nights of RS and after five nights of partial sleep deprivation (PSD), implying five hours of sleep per night. In both the experiments, two deliberative decision-making tasks were administered, involving different decision-making constructs. The Mosaic Task (MT) assessed reflection impulsivity, the tendency to gather information before making a decision. The Columbia Card Task cold version (CCTc) evaluated risk-taking propensity in a dynamic environment.
Results: Unlike TSD, PSD led to an increment of reflection impulsivity and risk-taking. Nevertheless, analyses taking into account the individuals’ baseline (RS) performance showed consistent results between the two experimental sleep manipulations. Participants who gathered more information to make decisions in the MT when well-rested, then relied on less evidence under sleep loss, and more cautious participants in the CCTc tended to make riskier decisions.
Conclusion: Results pointed to differential consequences of sleep deprivation depending on the habitual way to respond during decision-making involving deliberative reasoning processes. Results were interpreted according to a putative interaction between sleep loss effect and individual difference factors.

Keywords: sleep deprivation, sleep restriction, reflection impulsivity, risk-taking, deliberative decision-making, individual differences

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