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< Back to question Why are some people always late? Show more Show less

We all know someone who cannot for the life of them show up anywhere on time. We now have a lot of technology that helps us avoid this issue - so where is the problem? Is being late a symbol of disrespect for others' time? Is being late a symbol of optimism in the amount of time it takes to get somewhere? Or something else entirely?

Some tardy people gauge the passing of time differently Show more Show less

People think of time in various ways.
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Type A and Type B process time differently.

Type A and Type B personality differences determine a person's punctuality.
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Proponents


Context

The cause of lateness needs to be determined because it results in a less efficient society and general annoyance by those kept waiting. The research underlying this argument was completed in 2001, and nothing has yet disproved it, but there are other, dissenting opinions on what the psychological cause of lateness is. [1]

The Argument

A person's personality can cause their lateness. Type A personality type is someone who competitive, whereas Type B tends to be easygoing. [2]This explains why type B personalities are generally late because they are more relaxed. As a result, they underestimate how quickly time actually passes. [3] Because they feel time go by more slowly, Type B personalities think that they have more time than they actually do. This is called the planning fallacy error, “which is the failure to accurately assess how long it will take to get from point A to point B.[4]” Additionally, Type A personality types tend to be more punctual by nature of being more high-strung. [5] There must be a psychological reason for habitual lateness. So far, the best explanation we have is the Type A versus Type B explanation. It holds up under an empirical psychological experiment, which is accurate and unbiased in its collection of evidence in support of a position[6]. Therefore, personality type can reasonably be a reason for people's lateness.

Counter arguments

There are two ways cultures perceive time - monochronic and polychronic. The former is faster, and more efficient, whereas the latter moves slower and at a more relaxed pace of life. (Think of New York versus the Caribbean.) Which time scheme you’re operating under is what actually determines punctuality.[7] Since these time schemes manifest similarly to Type A and B, people mistakenly attribute lateness to a particular personality, when it is really a difference in time perception. Alternatively, the Big Five personality traits of openness, conscientiousness, agreeableness, extraversion, and neuroticism may determine whether you’re on time or not. It’s high levels of conscientiousness and agreeableness that determine whether a person is punctual or not. For this reason, a collection of different personality traits actually causes lateness, not a simple distinction between two different personality types. [8]

Framing

Psychological differences, not behavioral habits, are what determine punctuality.

Premises

Rejecting the premises


References

  1. https://www.sciencealert.com/chronically-late-personality-type-scientists-study
  2. https://www.simplypsychology.org/personality-a.html
  3. https://bigthink.com/ideafeed/different-personalities-experience-time-differently
  4. https://www.image.ie/life/personality-type-people-always-late-127890
  5. https://www.sciencealert.com/chronically-late-personality-type-scientists-study
  6. https://www.sciencealert.com/chronically-late-personality-type-scientists-study
  7. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/get-lucky/201206/is-punctuality-virtue-or-vice
  8. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0092656605001017

This page was last edited on Wednesday, 17 Jun 2020 at 19:32 UTC