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Do Larks Repress Owls?
Richard Chappell suggests morning larks treat night owls unfairly:
Scheduling maintenance work on campus housing for 7:45am somehow doesn’t strike the university as grossly inconsiderate, the way that scheduling it for 11pm surely would. … It should be common knowledge that there’s a fair bit of variation in the sleep schedules of graduate students. …. Perhaps [early-risers] think that any grad student who’s still asleep at 8am is just “sleeping in”, the way that they themselves might do on a lazy weekend. … Perhaps the inconsistent treatment is thought to be justified by early-riser moralizing: really (the thought goes), people ought to wake early. Those on later sleep schedules must just be lazy.
Intrigued, I dug:
A higher degree of eveningness in more impulsive subjects. more
Morningness was stable before age 35 and increased afterwards. more
College freshmen who kept night-owl hours had lower GPAs. more
Evening-types are more likely to have higher intelligence scores. more
Late risers tire less quickly. … Those who rise later tend to be both cleverer and richer. more
Night workers more likely to be evening type and the unemployed less likely to be moderately morning type … Evening types were 2.5 times more likely to report that their general health was only poor or fair. more
Owls had the largest mean income and were more likely to have access to a car. There was also no evidence that larks were superior to those with other sleeping patterns with regard to their cognitive performance or their state of health. more
Morningness correlated positive with agreeableness and conscientiousness. … Neuroticism was related to eveningness only in females and in adolescents (10–17 years). In adults (18–47) only conscientiousness correlated with morningness. Positive correlations existed between agreeableness and conscientiousness and sleep length. more
Early risers prefer to gather knowledge from concrete information. They reach conclusions through logic and analysis. Night owls are more imaginative and open to unconventional ideas, preferring the unknown and favoring intuitive leaps on their way to reaching conclusions. … Morning people are more likely to be self-controlled and exhibit “upstanding” conduct; they respect authority, are more formal, and take greater pains to make a good impression. … Evening people, by contrast, are “independent” and “nonconforming,” and more reluctant to listen to authority. more HT
Morningness was … negatively related to impulsivity, extravagance, and dis-orderliness and positively related to persistence. … Evening types were rated signiﬁcantly less dependable … Older age correlates with Morningness. … Evening types tended to commit less recognition errors, … were more intelligent, more likely to do well on measures of memory, and in processing. … Evening types presented more ﬂexible sleep habits and slept signiﬁcantly less … are less emotionally stable … [and] are prone to addiction. more
So, larks are older, more conformist, more dependable, and so more likely to set official rules. Such rules seem to favor lark-preferred hours of work, school, etc., and to give larks higher school grades even though owls are smarter and eventually richer. Seems some sort of “conspiracy” theory has decent support, though of course conscious collusion isn’t needed here – self-serving biases and signaling distortions seem a sufficient explanation.
So why don’t owls complain more about this repression? Too non-conformist to coordinate a movement? Too busy partying late to show up to meetings?