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Fake News: People Who Are Always Tardy Live A Longer And More Successful Life, Science Does NOT Say

  • by: Alan Duke
  • (Sat, 04 May 2019 23:53:29 Z)

Do scientific studies say that people who are always tardy live a longer and more successful life? No, that's not true: This is a mythical conclusion by a writer who stitched together a few quotes from a managment consultant and a psychologist about the characteristics of chronically late people with a Harvard study about the health benefits of optimism. Science did not say it and the content of the story does not support the remarkable claim in the headline.

A multitude of copy-cat articles followed the same storyline, many of them cut and paste jobs, including an article published by the Power of Silence website published on May 4, 2019 titled "People Who Are Always Tardy Live A Longer And More Successful Life, Science Says" (archived here) which opened:

You have someone in your mind, don't you? Perhaps it's your best friend that simply can't appear anywhere on time. Perhaps it's your co-worker that is always late for meetings at work. Or perhaps it's you. Nevertheless, as annoying, unprofessional, and rude unpunctuality may be, we have some pretty good news for you, your friend, your co-worker, your partner, or whoever you thought of. Studies show that the characteristics that cause people to be late are actually the same characteristics that can help them be more successful and live longer. People that are chronically late tend to feel less stressed

Screenshot of https://thepowerofsilence.co/people-who-are-always-tardy-live-a-longer-and-more-successful-life-science-says/

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

People Who Are Always Tardy Live A Longer And More Successful Life, Science Says

You have someone in your mind, don't you? Perhaps it's your best friend that simply can't appear anywhere on time. Perhaps it's your co-worker that is always late for meetings at work. Or perhaps it's you. Nevertheless, as annoying, unprofessional, and rude unpunctuality may be, we have some pretty good news for you, your friend, your co-worker, your partner, or whoever you thought of. Studies show that the characteristics that cause people to be late are actually the same characteristics that can help them be more successful and live longer. People that are chronically late tend to feel less stressed

The only "science" quoted in any of the articles is a Harvard University report found here.

According to a series of studies from the U.S. and Europe, the answer is yes. Optimism helps people cope with disease and recover from surgery. Even more impressive is the impact of a positive outlook on overall health and longevity. Research tells us that an optimistic outlook early in life can predict better health and a lower rate of death during follow-up periods of 15 to 40 years.

So it's great to be optimistic, but how does that explain how people who are always tardy will be more successful and have longer lives than people who generally show up on time for work, doctor appointments, school, court dates, and dinner? That's where a creative writer in a Southern Living version of this false reporting takes the opinion of a management consultant who believes that tardy people are also optimistic people.

As Diana DeLonzor wrote in her book, Never Late Again, many late people tend to be both optimistic and unrealistic. That means they truly, deeply believe that they can, say, go for a run, take a shower, stop at the Piggly Wiggly to buy groceries for dinner, pick up the dry cleaning, and still make it on time to pick up the kids from school all in one hour. That is a clearly optimistic schedule, yet many chronically late people truly believe it's possible, even when proven time and again that it's not. That level of optimism reaches far beyond an over-planned schedule, though.

The writer concludes if you are always late, you must be an optimist and if you are an optimist, then you will certainly live longer (based on the Harvard report) than those poor souls who show up on time. Lead Stories is not buying this logic.

What about being always tardy makes you more successful? These stories attribute that conclusion to a psychologist who studied the characteristics of people who are chronically late for things.

People who are perennially late tend to be perfectionists. Dr. Linda Sapadin, a fellow of the American Psychological Association, explains that many late people make sure everything, both at home and at work, including their appearance, is perfect.

Well, while this may be a pretty annoying characteristic in a friend it's certainly desirable trait in an employee and can bring about a more successful professional life.

It was the writer, not the pyschologist, who opined that being a perfectionist outweighs always being late in the eyes of a boss or professional colleagues. Also, the perfectionist is just one of the four types of tardy people identified by Dr. Sapadin. The others are the crisis maker, the defier, and the dreamer, she wrote, and there is no study that concludes they are more successful than the person who shows up on time.

Lead Stories concludes that these articles claiming that its ok to be keep others waiting for you because it means you will someday be more successful and live long is fake news.

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About the author:

Editor-in-Chief Alan Duke co-founded Lead Stories after ending a 26-year career with CNN, where he mainly covered entertainment, current affairs and politics. Duke closely covered domestic terrorism cases for CNN, including the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, the UNABOMBER and search for Southeast bomber Eric Robert Rudolph. CNN moved Duke to Los Angeles in 2009 to cover the entertainment beat. Duke also co-hosted a daily podcast with former HLN host Nancy Grace, "Crime Stories with Nancy Grace" and hosted the podcast series "Stan Lee's World: His Real Life Battle with Heroes & Villains." You'll also see Duke in many news documentaries, including on the Reelz channel, CNN and HLN.

Read more about or contact Alan Duke

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