Positive and negative reward assessments are how we use attention and working memory to make decisions. For example; you’ve already learned and stored in your memory that fresh fruits and vegetables are healthy snacks (positive reward). You also know that potato chips are a bad choice (negative reward). But you go to store and there is a huge sale on potato chips. And you like chips. If you have slept well, and you’re hungry, you are more likely to make the positive reward choice and buy yourself an apple or a banana. But if you’re sleep-deprived and hungry, you are just as likely to buy the chips even though you know they aren’t a healthy choice.
Positive and negative reward assessments also influence how we communicate. When we communicate with anyone, we have a good idea about what will make them happy and what will make them upset. Without good sleep, we’re likely to say something we’ll regret; in that way, sleep deprivation affects our relationships.
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