Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2461952
 


 



The Morality of Larks and Owls: Unethical Behavior Depends on Chronotype as Well as Time-of-Day


Brian Gunia


Johns Hopkins University - Carey Business School

Christopher M. Barnes


University of Washington - Michael G. Foster School of Business

Sunita Sah


Georgetown University - Department of Strategy/Economics/Ethics/Public Policy; Harvard University - Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics

July 2, 2014

Psychological Science, Forthcoming

Abstract:     
The recently-documented “morning morality effect” indicates that people act most ethically in the morning because their energy wanes with the day. An estimated 40% of the population, however, experience increased energy levels later in the day. These “evening people,” we propose, should not show the morning morality effect. Instead, they should show the same or an increasing propensity toward ethicality in the evening. Two experiments supported this hypothesis, showing that people with a morning chronotype tend to behave more ethically in the morning than the evening, while people with an evening chronotype tend to behave more ethically in the evening than the morning. Thus, understanding when people will behave unethically may require an appreciation of both the person (chronotype) and the situation (time-of-day): a chronotype morality effect.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 8

Keywords: circadian rhythm, cognitive processes, morality, ethics, sleep

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Date posted: July 4, 2014  

Suggested Citation

Gunia, Brian and Barnes, Christopher M. and Sah, Sunita, The Morality of Larks and Owls: Unethical Behavior Depends on Chronotype as Well as Time-of-Day (July 2, 2014). Psychological Science, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2461952

Contact Information

Brian Gunia
Johns Hopkins University - Carey Business School ( email )
100 International Drive
Baltimore, MD 21202-1099
United States
Christopher M. Barnes
University of Washington - Michael G. Foster School of Business ( email )
Box 353200
Seattle, WA 98195-3200
United States
Sunita Sah (Contact Author)
Georgetown University - Department of Strategy/Economics/Ethics/Public Policy ( email )
Washington, DC 20057
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.sunitasah.com/research
Harvard University - Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics ( email )
124 Mount Auburn Street
Suite 520N
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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