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Running on Empty 10

after the testing. In addition, the time of day when the respective groups

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Running on Empty 10 after the testing. In addition, the time of day when the respective groups took the tests may have influenced the results: those in the 24-hour
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took the tests may have influenced the results: those in the 24-hour

group took the tests in the morning and may have been fresher and more

relaxed than those in the 12-hour group, who took the tests at night.

Perhaps, then, the motivation level of food-deprived participants could

be effectively tested. Second, longer-term food deprivation periods, such

as those experienced by people fasting for religious reasons, could be

explored. It is possible that cognitive function fluctuates over the duration

of deprivation. Studies could ask how long a person can remain focused

despite a lack of nutrition. Third, and perhaps most fascinating, studies

could explore how food deprivation affects learned industriousness. As

stated above, one possible explanation for the better perseverance times

in the 24-hour group could be that they spontaneously improved their

perseverance faculties by simply forcing themselves not to eat for 24

hours. Therefore, research could study how food deprivation affects the

acquisition of perseverance.

In conclusion, the results of this study provide some fascinating

insights into the cognitive and physiological effects of skipping meals.

Contrary to what we predicted, a person may indeed be very capable of

concentrating after not eating for many hours. On the other hand, if one

is taking a long test or working long hours at a tedious task that requires

perseverance, one may be hindered by not eating for a short time, as

shown by the 12-hour group’s performance on the perseverance task.

Many people—students, working mothers, and those interested in fasting,

to mention a few—have to deal with short-term food deprivation,

intentional or unintentional. This research and other research to follow

will contribute to knowledge of the disadvantages—and possible

advantages—of skipping meals. The mixed results of this study suggest

that we have much more to learn about short-term food deprivation.

The conclusion

summarizes the

outcomes, stresses the

experiment’s value, and anticipates

further advances on

the topic.



Running on Empty 11


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All works referred to

in the paper appear on

the reference page, listed

alphabetically by author (or title).

Each entry follows APA

guidelines for listing

authors, dates,

titles, and publishing


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