Consequences of Disrupting Biological Rhythms (A2 Psychology Sleep)

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Critically consider the consequences of disrupting biological rhythms (24) A rhythm is something that is regularly repeated. All living organisms experience rhythmic changes which tend to coincide with seasonal or daily environmental changes. Most organisms have an internal biological clock called endogenous pacemakers, which are influences by external environmental factors called exogenous zeitgebers, these control periodic changes. The sleep wake cycle is a circadian rhythm that repeats itself every 24 hours. However these can become desynchronised, resulting in a disruption of your biological rhythm. It can be disrupted by many factors, including Jet lag and shift work. Jetlag occurs when flying east to west or vice versa, it does not…show more content…
But what the study does not take into consideration is the fact that the east coast team could just be genuinely better than the west coast team, and that is the reason they win, and not because of jetlag and the direction they travel. But this study does have ecological validity due to them being real teams, and it not being in laboratory conditions, making the results more valid and generalizable outside of the study. It also supports Klein, Wegman and Hunts findings that westbound flights are easier to adjust to. However chlo (2001) found a reduction in temporal lobe size and memory function in air crew who regularly flew over seven different time zones. This looks at a more biological approach as it challenges the views that jetlag is psychological as it shows organic structural changes and cognitive reduction. Stewart et al found that rats who have been emotionally stressed are not as good at resetting their innate clocks using light as the zeitgeber, as rats that have not been emotionally stressed. This shows that stress can make the SCN less responsive to light. This could explain why some people experiences jetlag and others do not, as those who do may find flying stressful. However this study lacks validity as rats have a different physiological makeup to humans, meaning the results found from rats cannot be generalised to humans and how they behave.

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