It’s only human to be late sometimes.
But some humans are late most of the time.
He’s not alone.
By one estimate, America loses $90 billion a year because of tardiness.
Psychological science is starting to find out why:
• Being late partly has to do with having different definitions of “on time.” You might think that five minutes late is acceptable, but your boss doesn’t — or the reverse might be true.
• It’s also a matter of your habits: multitaskers are more likely to be later than everybody else, because multitasking makes it harder to have “metacognition,” or an awareness of what you’re doing.
But chronic lateness may come down to something more essential — your personality type. San Diego State University psychologist Jeff Conte has found that people with achievement-oriented, hard-charging “Type A” personalities tend to be on time more than laid-back “Type B” people.
“Across three [of Conte’s] previous studies, Type A individuals estimated that a minute passed in 58 seconds, compared with 77 seconds for Type B individuals,” The Wall Street Journalreports.
In other words, the friend of yours who is always late may experience time differently than you do.
“If you have an 18-second gap,” Conte told The Journal, “that difference can add up.”