Human activity follows an approximately 24-hour day-night cycle, but there is significant individual variation in awake and sleep times. Individuals with circadian rhythms at the extremes can be categorized into two chronotypes: “larks”, those who wake up and go to sleep early, and “owls”, those who stay up and wake up late. It is well established that a person’s chronotype can affect their activities and health. However, less is known about the effects of chronotypes on social behavior, even though many social interactions require coordinated timings. To study how chronotypes relate to social behavior, we use data collected with a smartphone app on a population of more than seven hundred volunteer students to simultaneously determine their chronotypes and social network structure. We find that owls maintain larger personal networks, albeit with less time spent per contact. On average, owls are more central in the social network of students than larks, frequently occupying the dense core of the network. These results point out that there is a strong connection between the chronotypes of people and the structure of social networks that they form.
- Mobile phone data
- Social networks