Diurnal variation in logical reasoning

Br J Psychol. 1975 Feb;66(1):1-8. doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8295.1975.tb01433.x.


Subjects performed two tests of logical reasoning at each of six different times of day. In terms of speed, preformance on both tests was found to improve markedly from 08.00 to 14.00 and then to fall off fairly rapidly. Accuracy was found to decrease fairly linearly over the day. The results are interpreted as indicating that the different functions relating performance efficiency to time of day found by previous workers are due to differences in task demands rather than to individual differences. It is suggested that the larger the short-term memory component of a task the earlier in the day performance peaks.

MeSH terms

  • Achievement
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Temperature
  • Circadian Rhythm*
  • Efficiency
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logic
  • Male
  • Memory, Short-Term
  • Thinking*
  • Time Factors