Scientists Have Found Out Why You’re Chronically Late

Written by on February 9, 2015 in Psychology-Psychiatry, Sci-Tech with 0 Comments
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Fiona McDonald | Sciencealert

late at workAnyone can be late a handful of times, sure, but to be the person who's always five minutes late (at the earliest) – that's an art. A frustrating and inconvenient art. Or, a side effect of your personality traits, scientists have found.

So what is it that causes some people to constantly miss trains, make it to the wedding just after the bride’s shown up and regularly piss off their friends? And why is it so hard for us to fix?


Researchers have been trying to tease this apart for decades, and have come across a few tell-tale traits, as Sumathi Reddy reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“There are all sorts of disincentives and punishments for being late, and the paradox is we’re late even when those punishments and consequences exist,” Justin Kruger, a social psychologist at New York University's School of Business told Reddy.

One of the most obvious and common reasons that people are frequently late is that they simply fail to accurately judge how long a task will take – something known as the planning fallacy. Research has shown that people on average underestimate how long a task will take to complete by a significant 40 percent.

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