Basic Perspectives on Motivation: Evaluating Five
Accounts for Sleep and Sleep Deprivation
University of Southern Queensland
Sleep deprivation is prevalent in industrialized societies and has been linked to serious health issues and traffic accidents. This essay views sleep and sleep deprivation from five different motivational perspectives in order to gain a holistic understanding of the phenomena. From evolutionary, psychodynamic, behaviourist, cognitive, and hierarchy of needs perspectives, it is inferred that the cognitive and behaviourist perspectives uphold the most merit for gaining understanding into sleep and sleep deprivation. However, it is concluded that in order to obtain the greatest comprehension of the phenomena, the implementation of all motivational perspectives is required.
Sleep is one of the most fundamental components of a healthy existence. The phenomenon of sleep deprivation, resulting either from lifestyle choices or the undertreatment of sleep related illnesses, could be a factor for a multitude of health disorders prevalent in today’s society (Nature, 2005). It is suggested that people of industrialized countries obtain about 20% less sleep today than they did a century ago. Sleep deprivation has been linked to Type 2 diabetes, obesity, and has also been found to significantly increase the chance of a motor-vehicle accident (Wilson, 2005). In order to address the problem of sleep deprivation, it is imperative that the motivation behind sleep and sleep deprivation is understood. This essay will look at sleep and sleep deprivation through five different perspectives of motivation: evolutionary, psychodynamic, behaviourist, cognitive, and hierarchy of needs. This essay will then argue that by viewing sleep and sleep deprivation from a multitude of perspectives, a holistic understanding of the phenomena might be achieve. Charles Darwin transformed common beliefs on the origins of human existence by claiming to have identified the explicit mechanism of evolution. He called this mechanism natural selection, and suggested that it functioned by selecting, through natural forces, traits that are beneficial to survival of organisms and their offspring. Darwin proposed that all behaviour has a biological basis and is fundamentally aimed at survival and reproductive success (Burton, Westen, & Kowalski, 2009). From an evolutionary perspective, sleep is a behaviour that is regulated by neural programs responding to cues of light and dark. This biological motivation evolved due to the relationship between high neural activity during daylight hours and decreased neural activity at night (Westen, Burton, & Kowalski, 2006). The research method employed by evolutionists to measure sleep is naturalistic observation. This involves measuring the duration of sleep while also examining neural activity before, during, and after sleep. The biological variable is sleep; the theoretical variable is neural activity. It is expected that neural activity will be higher during wakefulness than in sleep. Disruption to natural sleep behaviour results in sleep deprivation. Naturalistic observation is again employed by evolutionists to measure this phenomenon. Sleep deprivation is measured by the abnormality of neural activity during wakefulness and sleep. The biological variable is sleep; the theoretical variable is neural activity. It is predicted that neural activity will be higher than normal during sleep and lower than normal during wakefulness. The evolutionist method of observing phenomena as it occurs in nature is both an advantage and a limitation. While naturalistic observation allows the evolutionist researcher to make deductions about the behaviour of organisms existing in their natural environment, and also allows the examination of organism behaviour that is not be possible under laboratory...