Brain and Body

If You’re Always Late, Here’s Why

October 5, 2015 | Kelly Tatera

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Science explains how two different personality types experience time differently.

There are two types of people in the world: those who arrive to job interviews 15 minutes early, and those who dash in just after the minute-hand strikes their appointment time. Why is it that some people just always seem to be late? According to science, they most likely have a Type B personality. 

Type A individuals are more likely to be punctual, while Type B individuals, typically thought of as more laid-back, are always running a few minutes behind schedule. In fact, Type A and Type B individuals have different perceptions of time, according to scientific research. 

SEE ALSO: Personality, IQ not determined by birth order

Research at San Diego State University, led by psychologist Jeff Conte, found that Type A people estimated that a minute passed in 58 seconds, while Type B individuals guessed 77 seconds. Essentially, Type B people perceive minutes to last much longer than they actually do, and Conte explains that the 18-second gap can add up. 

There’s also other findings in psychological science that explain differences in punctuality. People who typically run late by just a minute or two might think it’s no big deal, whereas their boss might hold a different definition of being “on time.” 

Multitaskers are also more likely to be chronic-late-runners than everyone else, because doing a number of things at once makes it harder to have “metacognition,” or an awareness of what you’re doing, as reported by Business Insider. 

Blaming your chronic lateness on traffic might not cut it anymore. Most likely, it’s your Type-B personality. 

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