Rise at dawn? It could make you a liar

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iol lif july 18 sunrise INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS Owls, in contrast, tended to lie in the morning, when they were sleepy. Picture: Henk Kruger

London - They jump out of bed at the crack of dawn and are relentlessly cheerful despite the early hour.

But so-called “larks” may not hold the moral high ground. Early risers become less honest as the day goes on, a US study has found.

By the evening, they are more likely to cheat and lie than “night owls” – those who like to wake up and go to bed late.

The findings challenge the view that night owls are more likely to be badly behaved. Researcher Sunita Sah, of Georgetown University, said: “They cast doubt on the stereotype that evening people are somehow dissolute.”

The researchers from John Hopkins, Washington and Georgetown universities put 200 students through tests and games designed to measure their honesty. They also asked them questions to work out whether they were a lark or an owl.

Larks were more likely to cheat in the evening, when they were less alert and lacked the mental energy to resist temptation. Owls, in contrast, tended to lie in the morning, when they were sleepy.

This suggests that dishonesty is balanced out between the two types of people – it just happens at different times of the day.

Dr Sah said the findings have major implications for workplaces and particularly those where employees work shifts. - Daily Mail

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