It’s 11 p.m. Are you already snoring? Or are you just getting started, laptop at the ready, waiting to relish the silence as the rest of the block is lulled away by soft, warm sleep?
If you picked the latter, you’re more likely to be a psychopath, a narcissist, or a cheat, according to research at the University of Western Sydney.
Researchers found a correlation between “night owl” tendencies and the “Dark Triad,” personality traits emblematic of the worst in human nature (narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy).
Both nocturnality and Dark Triad traits are hereditary, and adaptive. Now that a link between the two has been established, researchers are speculating as to how it came about – likely, they say, people with Dark Triad tendencies use the cover of night to better engage a “cheater strategy.”
While the vigilant eyelids of morning people start drooping, the night owls are just getting revved up – using their optimal cognitive function for anti-social behaviour, “increased mating success in the short-term context,” mate-poaching, risk-seeking, and impulsivity (and, likely plot-hatching: there has to be a way to wipe the sunny smile off that breakfast server’s face).
So, what about all those people who rise with the sun to get ahead of the rest of the world? Don’t worry about them, they’re harmless. The people with truly Machiavellian intentions are about to hit the sack.