Yes, the reaction absolutely changes the situation. However, it does not mean that the positive attitude always makes the situation better.
I hear small kids often don't get any injury even if they fall from high place because they don't do anything. Or small kids can be found alive after several days in ruin after earthquake or explosion - they can just wait, saving their energy.
Talking about your prison case, we cannot tell exactly which of them will be happier. Maybe the crying one will get out of there eariler because someone can feel sorry for him and help him. Maybe the sleeping one will think of a marvelous idea that the tired crying one could never thing of and get out of the prison by himself.
In any case we don't know what will happen in nearest futuer, but we must decide do or do not. That is the problem. :)