Study finds night owls more likely to be psychopaths

August 1, 2013
Study finds night owls more likely to be psychopaths

(Medical Xpress)—People who stay up late at night are more likely to display anti-social personality traits such as narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathic tendencies, according to a study published by a University of Western Sydney researcher.

Dr Peter Jonason, from the UWS School of Social Sciences and Psychology, assessed over 250 people's tendency to be a morning- or evening-type person to discover whether this was linked to the 'Dark Triad' of .

The results, published in Personality and Individual Differences found students who were awake in the twilight hours displayed greater anti-social tendencies than those who went to bed earlier.

"Those who scored highly on the Dark Triad traits are, like many other predators such as lions and scorpions, creatures of the night," he says.

"For people pursuing a fast life strategy like that embodied by the Dark Triad traits, it's better to occupy and exploit a lowlight environment where others are sleeping and have diminished ."

Dr Jonason says there may be an for the link between anti- and a preference to being awake late at night.

"There is likely to be a co-evolutionary arms race between cheaters and those who wish to detect and punish them, and the Dark Triad traits may represent specialized adaptations to avoid detection," he says.

"The features of the night - a low-light environment where others are sleeping - may facilitate the casual sex, mate-poaching, and risk-taking the Dark Triad traits are linked to."

"Indeed, most crimes and most sexual activity peak at night, suggesting just such a link."

Dr Jonason adds that far more work is needed, but these results represent an important advance in behavioural ecological and evolutionary psychological models of the Dark Triad, as well as 'darker' aspects of human nature and personality.

"The Creatures of the night: Chronotypes and the Dark Triad" traits study was published in the May edition of Personality and Individual Differences.

Explore further: Personality traits can be inferred from social media use

More information: www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/01918869

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5 comments

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Sinister1811
3.4 / 5 (5) Aug 01, 2013
Of course this study was published by a morning person. Ill bet any money that those who get up early are just as likely to be psychopaths. Oh wait, where was the control group for this study?
The Empathy Trap
5 / 5 (1) Aug 02, 2013
There is humour to this study but the issue of sociopathic/psychopathic abuse is not so light. I am co-author of a new book The Empathy Trap: Understanding Antisocial Personalities (Sheldon Press, 2013), which is a self-help book on coping in the aftermath of psychopathic abuse. To be targeted by a psychopath is a deeply traumatising experience. Putting this light-hearted study aside there are traits to be mindful of, and personalities to avoid, if a person wishes to avoid being a target of abuse. It is worth being alert to their traits, ruses and manipulations.
alfie_null
1 / 5 (1) Aug 04, 2013
"Of course this study was published by a morning person. Ill bet any money that those who get up early are just as likely to be psychopaths. Oh wait, where was the control group for this study?"

I'll bet you're a night person. Chill.
Sinister1811
not rated yet Aug 04, 2013
I'll bet you're a night person. Chill.


Ill bet that you agree with this study. No problem.

The fact that crimes happen at night just makes them less obvious.
tadchem
not rated yet Sep 06, 2013
Cart-horse or horse-cart?
"Psychopaths are more likely to have disrupted diurnal sleep patterns."

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