The Effects Of Sugar Upon Aptitude Levels
The aim of this study was to discover whether sugar intake has an
effect upon people's cognitive aptitude. This was done by dividing the
sample into three conditions (high sugar drink, low sugar drink and
control.) The participants were then asked to drink the drink given
(with the exception of the control condition.) and then fill out an
aptitude test. Once all the results had been gathered they were put
through the Mann Whitney (U) test. The results showed that sugar has a
detrimental effect on aptitude.
Physiological psychology is the study of how the brain affects the
body, and how the two work in tandem. This has been explored in this
study, as sugar levels have an effect upon both physical and mental
performance. Sugar can be burned by the body to produce energy, but at
the same time it has a negative effect on the brain, which is clear
from the results. Shachter and Singer's investigation (1962) is
similar to this study, in that they tested the effects of epinephrine
on participants ability to operate in a certain environment, and
certain elements of their study were used in this one, in that the
participants in both studies did not know what they were being given
(saline or epinephrine in Schachter and Singer's study and high or low
sugar drinks in this one.) And they are both physiological.
The method used in this study was chosen because it was cost
effective, simple to carry out and easy to replicate should the need
The decision to use a limited sample of 16 to 25 year olds was reached
because to have used a wider range would have possibly thrown up
confounding variables, for example people of a higher age may have a
better grasp of the aptitude tests, and sugar may have a greater
effect on younger participants. 16 to 25 year olds are physically and
mentally very similar.
The aptitude tests chosen each consisted of 10 questions, and the ones
used covered both technological skills and word association. These
were chosen because they cover a wide range and it is unlikely that
participants would have a large amount of skill in both areas.
The experimental hypotheis for this investigation is that sugar intake
will have a significant effect on aptitude scores, and the null
hypothesis is that sugar will have no effect on aptitude levels.
Design - This experiment is a lab study looking for a link between
sugar intake and aptitude levels in a sample.
Participants- The sample used for this study was a group of 12
participants aged between 16 and 25; 12 female and 12 male. These were
divided into three groups, each consisting of two males and two
females. The participants were all...