Early risers tend to have higher verbal ability, new research shows

A new study has challenged previous research that indicated ‘night owls’ had higher verbal intelligence.

The team behind the findings described them as “surprising” after taking a closer look at the impact of a person’s daily pace and activity levels while awake and asleep on intelligence .

They also described how young people, who are usually “evening types”, have to fight against their biological clocks as their schedules are set by “morning type” parents and their routines.

Dr Stuart Fogel, a cognitive neuroscientist and professor at the School of Psychology at the University of Ottawa in Canada, said: “We found… that morning types tend to have higher verbal ability. This result surprised us and signals that it is much more complicated than anyone previously thought.

Professor Fogel’s team analyzed biological rhythms and daily preferences to determine an individual’s chronotype, meaning their evening or morning tendencies and the time of day they prefer to do things more demanding.

Professor Fogel said: ‘A lot of school start times are not determined by our chronotypes but by parents and work schedules, so school-age children pay the price because they are types of the evening forced to work a morning-type schedule.

“For example, math and science classes are normally scheduled early in the day because whatever their morning tendencies will serve them well. But the morning is not when they are at their best due to their evening type tendencies. Ultimately, they are at a disadvantage because the type of schedule imposed on them is essentially battling their biological clock on a daily basis.

Read the full study in the journal Current Research in Behavioral Sciences.

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