Nature and Science of Sleep (2020-01-01)

Sleep Deprivation Impairs Cooperative Behavior Selectively: Evidence from Prisoner’s and Chicken Dilemmas

  • Lin Y,
  • Hu P,
  • Mai Z,
  • Jiang T,
  • Mo L,
  • Ma N

Journal volume & issue
Vol. Volume 12
pp. 29 – 37


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Yi Lin, 1,* Ping Hu, 1, 2,* Zifeng Mai, 1, 2 Tianxiang Jiang, 1, 2 Lei Mo, 1, 3, 4 Ning Ma 1–4 1School of Psychology; 2Center for Sleep Research; 3Center for Studies of Psychological Application; 4Guangdong Key Laboratory of Mental Health & Cognitive Science, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, People’s Republic of China*These authors contributed equally to this workCorrespondence: Ning Ma Email [email protected]: The aim of our study was to investigate the influences of acute sleep deprivation on cooperation with two classical social dilemmas, the Prisoner’s dilemma (PD) and the chicken dilemma (CD).Methods: All participants (N=24) were required to come for the experiments twice; one time for normal sleep condition, the other time for sleep deprivation condition, with a counter-balanced sequence. In the following afternoon, participants completed the psychomotor vigilance task (PVT) and two social dilemmas tasks, as well as the Karolinska Sleepiness Scale (KSS), the Risk Orientation Questionnaire (ROQ) and the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS).Results: Our results demonstrated that sleep deprivation significantly impaired cooperative behaviors in the CD but not in the PD. In addition, this detrimental effect was not related with the alteration in the risk-seeking, objective alertness, subjective sleepiness, and mood.Conclusion: The current findings revealed that sleep deprivation impairs cooperative behaviors under social dilemmas selectively. However, the underlying mechanism remains to further explore with neuroimaging studies and better ecological approach.Keywords: sleep deprivation, cooperation, risk-seeking