Tag Archives: Chronotype

Are all evening-types doomed?

17 Jan

An interesting interview with Royette Tavernier of Wesleyan University, about her work on sleep and chronotype:

Empirical evidence indicates that US children and adults alike are getting less sleep than previous generations. This is a critical issue because of the importance of adequate and good-quality sleep for physical, cognitive, psychological, and interpersonal functioning. Furthermore, this pattern of increasing sleep debt coincides with increases in several physical and psychological health ailments, including depression, anxiety, and obesity.

Here is a paper she co-authored with the interesting title: “Are all evening-types doomed? Latent class analyses of perceived morningness–eveningness, sleep and psychosocial functioning among emerging adults”

“Evening types learn more and are more motivated in the afternoon”

2 Nov

A paper in the most recent issue of Learning and Individual Differences reports an interaction between an individual’s chronotype (the extend to which you are a morning or an evening person) and the timing of academic activities.

I think this is a potentially important result. It suggests that knowledge of a biologically mediated individual difference might allow us to optimize instruction for different students. From the abstract:

Results indicate a synchrony effect (interaction of time of day and chronotype) in achievement and state motivation. Evening types have worse achievement, lower interest, and lower joy in the morning, but there were no significant associations between chronotype and the outcomes in the afternoon. Since adolescent evening types can learn better and are more motivated in the afternoon, schools should offer more learning opportunities in the afternoon.

Chronotype and Academic Achievement

15 Mar

I am fascinated by chronotypes (also called circadian preference). Here is a paper just published on the relationship between chronotype and academic achievement published in the journal Learning and Individual Differences. The paper reports:


“Circadian preference has an effect on academic achievement.”


In general, earlier chronotype predicts a higher cumulative grade point average.


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Better sleep as social policy

19 Feb

Better sleep has many health and psychological benefits. The town of Bad Kissingen in Germany is exploring adjusting social policy to individual chronotype.

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Chronotype in the history of physics

23 Jan

Recently, I have developed an interest in the cognitive effects of individual differences in chronotype. It occurred to me that it might be worth collecting data on the chronotype of famous individuals, perhaps for historiometric analysis.

As it happens, I have been reading Miller’s study of the collaboration between physicist  Wolfgang Pauli and Carl Jung where I encountered these observations:

On Pauli:

“He was never up before midday.” (p. 19)

“It soon became impossible for him to make it to Sommerfeld’s morning lectures, which began at 9:00 am. Instead Pauli took to dropping in at noon to check the blackboard to see what the topic had been so he could work it out himself.”

About Max Born and Pauli:

“Born was an early riser, Pauli far from that, especially after late nights working” (p.  38)

On Heisenberg and Pauli:

“Heisenberg complained that no one went to bed before 1 P.M. Pauli of course was in his element.” (p. 40)

Research suggests that chronotype correlates with important real world outcomes. It would be interesting to collect a data base of chronotype information on famous individuals and compare it to biographical details.

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