Running Heads: Breakfast and Learning Impact of Breakfast on Learning in School Ming Wen University of Massachusetts Boston Dr. Sheree Conrad Psychology 101 Fall 2012 Abstract In this experiment, we will study the impact of breakfast on learning in school. Students in several classes will be surveyed on their breakfast eating habits and their personal test scores. It will be a one-time survey over the course of one test. Factors that will be put under consideration are the amount of times each individual studied and the amount of sleep they had the night before.
Many researches have been conducted proving that there are significant relationships between eating breakfast and educational performances. This study hypothesizes that students who ate breakfast will do significantly better on tests than students who didn’t eat breakfast. Impact of Breakfast on Learning in School Boschloo, Annemarie, et Al. (2012) conducted a survey with 608 adolescents age 11-18 investigating whether skipping breakfast has an impact on educational performances. The survey was to determine if those who eat breakfast daily have a better end-term-grade than those who skips breakfast.
As a result, those who eat breakfast daily performed better in school than those who don’t eat breakfast. The result also shows that people who slept late tend to slip breakfast, but sleep had no effect on performances. The results applied to older and younger students also boys and girls. Another crossover trail has been done by Widenhorn-Muller, Katharina et al. (2008), the trail was applied on high school students age 13-20. Students were assigned to two groups: one with breakfast and who without breakfast. They compared cognitive functions of students in each group.
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As a result, Breakfast had no effect on paying more attention in class among students, but it has a short term effect on self-assessment and personal performance among the students. Pollitt, Ernesto et al. (1982-1983) found that “the timing and nutrient composition of meals have acute and demonstrable effects on behavior. ” They conducted research on kids 9-11 yrs. old in controlled groups of fasting (breakfast) and non-fasting. They gave these children many tests such as assessment of IQ, the Matching Familiar Figures Test, and Hagen Central–Incidental Test.
Glucose and insulin levels were also measured. Pivik, R. T. et al. (2012) found that “neural network activity involved in processing numerical information is functionally enhanced and performance is improved in children who have eaten breakfast. ” Meanwhile students who did not eat breakfast will require more mental effort to solve mathematical problems. This founding was possible by measuring the electroencephalographic (EEG) activity of kids age 7-11 while they are solving math problems. Kids who ate breakfast showed higher frequency EEG activity whereas vice-versa for kids who did not eat breakfast.
The proposed study is designed to investigate whether breakfast has an impact on how well a student perform on his/her test. We can assume that each student has a general knowledge on the subject and that they are prepared to take the test. Questions that will be raised during this experiment are 1. whether a person should eat breakfast before test and 2. how much should we eat for it to be consider a healthy breakfast. Method The proposed study is a survey for students age 15-22 in high schools and colleges. Surveys should separate participants into male or female.
This survey is conducted on students taking math courses and numbers of males and female should be even in each age group. It is best to conduct the survey on participants within the same classes. Questions will be asked is number of sleep each students had the night before. Whether they had breakfast in the morning. How often do they eat breakfast. Also have the students list the breakfast they had in the morning. Discussion This discussion section will address practical and methodological difficulties in carrying out this survey.
Also ethnical background issue will be put under consideration. Some difficulties we might encounter when taking a survey might be each individual’s eating habits, some might eat more than others and the food they consume are different. Also health issues might affect a person’s performance, for example, a person that weighs 130 pounds might have different results in performance compared to a person who is weigh 220 pounds even if they consume the same amount of food for breakfast. Also personal views will affect the survey.
Some people have higher standards than others and naturally, the people with higher standards will try harder to get a higher grade than students with lower standards. This also brings up the issue of ethnicity and backgrounds because some people have higher expectations and different cultures have different habits of eating. In future studies, I would like to conduct this survey to a wider age group such as kids from age 5-13 and adults from age 25-40. The adult brain is more developed than children’s brains and breakfast might have a different effect on children and adults.
Also this survey can be expanded into testing on a wider range of tasks. Instead of math tests it can be test on other subjects, and other jobs such as a person’s performance in an office or ground work. The survey should also study different types of people such as people with special needs compared to a person with normal functions. References Boschloo, Annemarie, et Al. (2012). The relation between breakfast skipping and school performance in adolescents. Mind, Brain, and Education, Vol 6(2), Jun, 2012. pp. 81-88. Widenhorn-Muller, Katharina et al. 2008) Influence of having breakfast on cognitive performance and mood in 13- to 20-year-old high school students: Results of a crossover trial. Pediatrics, Vol 122(2), Aug, 2008. pp. 279-284. Pollitt, Ernesto et al. (1982-1983). Fasting and cognitive function. Journal of Psychiatric Research, Vol 17(2), 1982-1983. pp. 169-174. Pivik, R. T. et al. (2012). Eating breakfast enhances the efficiency of neural networks engaged during mental arithmetic in school-aged children. Physiology & Behavior, Vol 106(4), Jun 25, 2012. pp. 548-555.
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