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Perseverance data from one control-group participant were

eliminated because she had to leave the session early. Concentration data

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from another control-group participant were dropped because he did not

complete the test correctly. Three manipulation-check questions indicated

that each participant correctly perceived his or her deprivation condition

and had followed the rules for it. The average concentration score was

77.78 (SD = 14.21), which was very good considering that anything over

50 percent is labeled “good” or “above average.” The average time spent

on the puzzle was 24.00 minutes (SD = 10.16), with a maximum of 40

minutes allowed.

We predicted that participants in the 24-hour deprivation group

would perform worse on the concentration test and the perseverance task

than those in the 12-hour group, who in turn would perform worse than

those in the control group. A one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA)

showed no significant effect of deprivation condition on concentration,

F(2,46) = 1.06, p = .36 (see Figure 1). Another one-way ANOVA indicated

Figure 1.

No deprivation 12-hour deprivation 24-hour deprivation

Deprivation Condition

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50

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Running on Empty 8

a significant effect of deprivation condition on perseverance time,

F(2,47) = 7.41, p < .05. Post-hoc Tukey tests indicated that the 12-hour

deprivation group (M = 17.79, SD = 7.84) spent significantly less time

on the perseverance task than either the control group (M = 26.80, SD =

6.20) or the 24-hour group (M = 28.75, SD = 12.11), with no significant

difference between the latter two groups (see Figure 2). No significant

effect was found for gender either generally or with specific deprivation

conditions, Fs < 1.00. Unexpectedly, food deprivation had no significant

effect on concentration scores. Overall, we found support for our

hypothesis that 12 hours of food deprivation would significantly impair

perseverance when compared to no deprivation. Unexpectedly, 24 hours

of food deprivation did not significantly affect perseverance relative to the

control group. Also unexpectedly, food deprivation did not significantly

affect concentration scores.

Discussion

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