Morningness versus Eveningness

Interesting topic: morningness versus eveningness. My self I am a morningness person. Early to rise, get most of the work done in the morning.

In colloquial terms, individuals oriented towards morning types were often labelled ‘‘Larks”,
and individuals oriented towards eveningness were labelled ‘‘Owls”

Morningness and eveningness is part of our chronotype. Besides heritable factors our chronotype also depends on gender, age, culture and social and environmental zeitgebers. A zeitgeber is any exogenous (external) cue that synchronizes an organism’s endogenous (internal) time-keeping system (clock) to the earth’s 24-hour light/dark cycle. The strongest zeitgeber, for both plants and animals, is light.

  • Girls and women are more morning oriented than boys and men
  • Morningness-eveningness changes during the life span towards more eveningness
  • Adolescents become more evening oriented
  • People living in the Mediterranean region are more shifted towards eveningness than people living in the temperate zones

Chronotype is also studied in correlation to personality dimensions. Studies with the Eysenck’s personality dimensions reported the following:

  • Extraverted people showed higher eveningness
  • Impulsiveness was more common among people with eveningness
  • People with morningness are less sociable than those with eveningness
  • Neuroticism was positively coorelated with eveningness
  • Evening types scored higher on psychoticism than morning types

Studies using the Big Five, a more recent inventory for character dimensions found:

  • Extraversion did not relate to eveningness, morning types had higher conscientiousness
  • Morning types were more agreeable
  • Evening types showed higher neuroticism
  • Evening types scored higher on openness

A recent study used the Temperament Character Inventory by Cloninger (TCI) in adolescents. From this study the adolescents with eveningness scored higher on novelty seeking (NS) and lower in persistence (PS). Morningness chronotypes scored higher in persistence and cooperation (C). High scores in NS may be related to a risk for addictive behavior. This was also found in other research, evening types consume more alcohol and cigarettes compared to morning types. Higher persistence scores is comparable to previous research because morning types are more proactive and higher in conscientiousness. This may also explain why morning types cope better with academic requirements and receive better grades.

So what are you, morning or evening type?
Randler, C., & Saliger, L. (2010). Relationship between morningness–eveningness and temperament and character dimensions in adolescents Personality and Individual Differences DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2010.09.016