Sleep Assignment

Introduction

What is your hypothesis?
A positive correlation exists between the difficulty of a student's coursework and the extent of the sleep deprivation experienced.

Why did you think that hypothesis would be true?
Because, in my experience, more difficult classes require additional work to be done. The more work a student does, the less likely they are to partake in other activities, such as sleep. The less one sleeps, the more sleep deprivation they experience. Thus, the more difficult a student's courses are, the more symptoms of sleep deprivation they experience.

Methods

How many people did you gather data from?
Thirty (30).

How did you gather your data?
I provided questionnaires with the following content to twenty-two male students in 12th grade from among my classes:

  • The fifteen questions present on the provided sleep deprivation questionnaire, formatted in the same manner.1
  • Blanks for the student to provide grade and gender.2
  • Blanks ranging from 0 to 6 for the student to provide the number of AP or CIS classes they were enrolled in.

I asked each student to fill out their questionnaires truthfully and, to the best of their ability, completely. I collected the questionnaires from students once they were completed.

Students who were administered the questionnaire were only informed that it was for my CIS Psychology class, and that they would remain anonymous. The topic of the assignment and my hypothesis were not disclosed.

What were your variables and how did you measure them?
My independent variable was the difficulty of the student's coursework. In this study, I used the number of AP or CIS classes that the student was enrolled in as a functional definition of the difficulty of the student's coursework. Higher numbers of AP or CIS classes indicate a greater difficulty in the student's coursework.

My dependent variable was the level of sleep deprivation experienced by the student. In this study, I used the number of "True" responses to the questionnaire as the functional definition of the sleep deprivation experienced by the student. Three or more "True" responses indicated sleep deprivation, and the more "True" responses, the more sleep deprivation experienced by the student.

Results

Hypothesis: A positive correlation exists between the difficulty of a student's coursework and the extent of the sleep deprivation experienced.

stuff.png
Results

The data showed a positive correlation between the number of AP and/or CIS classes a student takes and the extent to which that student suffers sleep deprivation.

Discussion

Was your hypothesis supported?
Yes.

Can you make any causal conclusions? Why or why not?
No, because a third factor may be contributing to both. For example, highly intelligent students may be more likely to take college-level courses and be less likely to get adequate sleep; in this case, the college-level courses would not be to blame. Another possible culprit may be attention to detail. Attention to detail could increase academic performance, motivating the student to take difficult courses; simultaneously, it may introduce difficulties in getting to sleep at night, increasing symptoms of sleep deprivation.

Further, little data was collected. Only two students answered for zero AP/CIS classes, only two answered for five, and none for six. Additionally, the sampling was not random — I shared classes with all of the students who partook in the study.

What are the implications of your study?
Taking higher numbers of AP classes may negatively impact a student's sleeping habits. Alternatively, personality or biological traits may cause a student to both experience sleep deprivation and motivate said student to enroll in multiple college-level courses. Further testing would be required.

How would you improve this study if you had to do it again?

  • Introduce random sampling (by sending questionnaires to students at multiple schools and to students I don't personally know).
  • Perform analysis on female students and students in other grades, collecting 100 data points for each subsection (such that 4*2*100=800 data points will be required).
  • Develop additional measures of sleep deprivation to question on.
  • Ask about number of hours of homework done each night.3
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License