Study: Night Owls More Prone to Psychopathic Tendencies

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A new study finds that people who prefer to stay up late exhibit more anti-social, even psychopathic, traits than those who are not night owls. (Photo by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images)

A new study finds that people who prefer to stay up late exhibit more anti-social, even psychopathic, traits than those who are not night owls. (Photo by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – A new study finds that people who prefer to stay up late exhibit more anti-social, even psychopathic, traits than those who are not night owls.

According to a study published by University of Western Sydney researcher Dr. Peter Jonason, evening-oriented people were linked to the “Dark Triad” of personality traits: narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathic tendencies.

Published in Personality and Individual Differences, the 250 people assessed who were more prone to late nights were also more likely to have anti-social tendencies.

“Those who scored highly on the Dark Triad traits are, like many other predators such as lions and scorpions, creatures of the night,” Dr. Jonason told medicalxpress. “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 cognitive functioning.”

Although Dr. Jonason stated that much more research would need to be conducted, he points that there is a strong link between evolutionary development and the “night owl” mental tendencies.

“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.”

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