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The morningness–eveningness questionnaire (MEQ) is a self-assessment questionnaire developed by Horne and Östberg in 1976. It has been validated against circadian rhythm variations of oral temperature. Its main purpose is to measure whether a person's peak alertness is in the morning, in the evening or in between. The original published study on the MEQ showed that subjective peak alertness time correlates with a time of peak body temperature; morning types have an earlier peak of oral temperature than evening types, with the intermediate types having temperature peaks between the two groups. The MEQ is widely used in many areas of psychological and medical research and has been cited more than 2200 times.
The MEQ consists of 19 multiple-choice questions, with each question having four response options. Some example questions are:
|Example Questions from the MEQ
1. What time would you get up if you were entirely free to plan your day?
Responses to the questions are combined to form a composite score that indicates the degree to which the respondent favors morning versus evening. Recently, shortened versions have been used with four, five, or six items.
According to a 1997 study of monozygotic and dizygotic twins, 54% of variance in morningness–eveningness was due to genetic variability, 3% was due to age, and the rest was explained by non-shared environmental influences and errors in measurement.
A study in 2000 showed that both 'morningness' and 'eveningness' participants performed poorly in the morning on the MAB-IQ & IT task. It thus did not support the hypothesis that there is a reliable relationship between morningness–eveningness, time of day and cognitive ability.
A study in 2008 examined the relationship between morningness and anxiety in adults aged 40–63. They found a negative correlation in women, but not in men, suggesting that gender-related variables may be attributed to morningness and eveningness when looking at anxiety.
A study in 2009 examined differences between evening and morning types in the timing of melatonin and core body temperature rhythms as well as objective and subjective sleepiness rhythms in a controlled laboratory protocol. The evening types had significantly later timed rhythms for all these variables particularly that of maximum alertness which occurred, on the average, in the middle of the day for morning types but only four hours before bedtime in the evening types.
- Horne, J. A., & Ostberg, O. (1976). A self-assessment questionnaire to determine morningness-eveningness in human circadian rhythms. International Journal of Chronobiology, 4(2), 97-110.
- Jankowski KS. Polish version of the reduced Morningness–Eveningness Questionnaire. Biol Rhythm Res. 2013;44:427-33.
- Adan A, Almirall H. 1991. Horne and Östberg Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire: a reduced scale. Pers Indiv Differ. 12(3):241-253.
- Urbán R, Magyaródi T, Rigó A. 2011. Morningness-eveningness, chronotypes and health-impairing behaviors in adolescents. Chronobiol Int. 28(3):238-247.
- Hur, Y. M., Bouchard, T. J., & Lykken, D. T. (1997). Genetic and environmental influence on morningness-eveningness. Personality and Individual Differences, 25, 917-925.
- Song, J., & Stough, C. (2000). The relationship between morningness-eveningness, time-of-day, speed of information processing and intelligence. Personality and Individual Differences, 29, 1179-1190.
- Diaz-Morales, J. F., & Sanchez-Lopez, M. P. (2008). Morningness-eveningness and anxiety among adults: A matter of sex/gender?. Personality and Individual Differences, 44, 1391-1401.
- Lack, L., Bailey, M., Lovato, N., & Wright, H.(2009). Chronotype differences in circadian rhythms of temperature, melatonin, and sleepiness as measured in a modified constant routine protocol.Nature and Science of Sleep, 1, 1-8.