Sleep and Digital Altruism: Are Good Sleepers, Good Doers?
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CitationMelton, Amy. 2019. Sleep and Digital Altruism: Are Good Sleepers, Good Doers?. Master's thesis, Harvard Extension School.
AbstractThe present study was designed to examine the association of self-reported acts of digital altruism with sleep quantity and sleep quality. The sample included 228 adult (18+ years of age) participants residing in the United Sates, recruited through Facebook and Amazon Mechanical Turk (Mturk). Participants completed an online survey that included five scales (Sleep Quality Measure, Online Prosocial Behavior Scale, Internet Use Scale, Subjective Happiness Scale, BFI-10) as well as seven single item indicators which included motivation for being kind online and sleep quantity.
Bivariate correlations showed that sleep quantity—but not sleep quality—was positively correlated with performing digital altruism. Mediation analysis results revealed that the correlation between sleep quantity and performing digital altruism was fully mediated by happiness, which suggests that the mechanism by which sleep quantity impacts rates of performing digital altruism is driven by the fact that more sleep makes people happier which in turn makes them more digitally altruistic.
Regression results show that people who sleep more are more digitally altruistic. The association between sleep quantity and performing digital altruism was curvilinear, such that the effect reverses with very high amounts of sleep. The effect of sleep quantity on performing digital altruism remained significant when including demographic variables (sex, age, ethnicity, religion, education, platform). When incorporating all other study variables (receiving digital altruism, happiness, Internet use, personality (extraversion/agreeableness/conscientiousness/openness/neuroticism), motivation (help others in need/paint myself in positive light/make the world a better place) the effect of sleep quantity on performing digital altruism was accounted for by motivation (to make the world a better place), receiving digital altruism, frequency of internet use, and extraversion. Results of this study suggest an association between sleep quantity and performing acts of digital altruism which extends previous research findings that sleep quantity is associated with performing traditional altruism. This finding lends support for prior research showing a positive association between online and offline behaviors. This study further highlights the importance of receiving sufficient sleep due to its association with increased happiness and more frequent acts of performing digital altruism, and simultaneously underscores the need for future research regarding risks associated with excessive sleep. Limitations and future directions of this research are noted.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37365089