Thursday, 23 August 2007

The personality of early risers

Morning people, early risers. You know the type; you might even be one. They've already done the housework and gone for a jog while the rest of us are still blissfully cocooned in our beds.

According to Juan Francisco Diaz-Morales, such people tend to be of a certain personality: they favour the tangible and concrete, they trust their experience and the observable over intuition and feelings; they have an attention to detail and a preference for logic. They are respectful of authority, care about social conventions and are rarely politically radical.

Diaz-Morales came to this conclusion after gauging the 'morningness' vs. 'eveningness' of 360 undergrads (275 were female) using the Composite Scale of Morningness. It's a 13 item scale that asks participants things like what time they typically get up and go to bed; how alert they feel in the morning; and when they are at the peak of their mental performance. He then measured the students' personality using the Millon Index of Personality Styles, a 180 item test with scales on what motivates people, their thinking style and how they relate to others.

Seventeen per cent of the women were classified as morning types, 61.8 per cent as intermediates, and 18.8 per cent as evening types. Among the men, 30.6 per cent were morning types, 50.6 per cent were intermediates and 18.8 per cent were evening folk.

In contrast to morning types, Diaz-Morales found that evening people preferred the symbolic over the concrete, were creative and risk-taking, and tended to be non-conformist and independent.

Diaz-Morales said these findings are “a further step towards a more complete and integrated understanding of personality characteristics related to morningness and eveningness dimensions.”

Diaz-Morales, J.F. (2007). Morning and evening types: Exploring their personality styles. Personality and Individual Differences, 43, 769-778.

Post written by Christian Jarrett (@psych_writer) for the BPS Research Digest.


Shirley Anstis said...

I have known people who have changed from evening types to morning types as they have gotten older - how can that be explained?

Anonymous said...

Yup, that happened to me. My peak working hours were from 11pm-4am up until my mid-20's. Now that I'm in my early 30's, my peak working hours are from 7am-1pm.

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