In one study, morning people actually performed better at problem-solving when they were brought into the lab at night, whereas night people scored better during the morning sessions.
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"Wait, pickles with hamburgers stuffed in the middle!"
We're also pretty bad at judging how well we're working within a group -- studies found that people were worse at solving problems in groups with those that they felt most comfortable. Even weirder, the groups that had a merry old time fucking up the problem they were supposed to be solving had no idea. According to the study, "The teams that felt they worked least effectively together were ironically the top performers."
This flies in the face of everything we believe about how things get accomplished. We think that great teams work extraordinarily well together and experience success, and the good times keep on rolling. Whenever a great band, team, or company looks back on the time they were kicking the world's ass, they usually describe it as magic. It turns out there's a reason they don't describe it as fun.
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Which is going to make reading the eventual post-breakup interviews with members of fun. confusing as shit.
Think about the Beatles. They were the most famous rock band of all time, they had an almost supernatural ability to write music that would make them more famous, and they couldn't last a decade. With hundreds of millions of dollars and unprecedented fame hanging in the balance, they called it quits faster than most failed marriages. If you prefer less artsy examples, keep in mind that Michael Jordan punched Steve Kerr in the face in practice the year they set a record for wins in a single season.
Being with your friends in a comfortable social setting is a great way to make yourself terrible at solving problems. It's the same as the morning people doing their best work at night. Your well-rested, socially comfortable brain is pretty good at thinking inside the box -- accessing that sensible place that appreciates old jokes and rejects ideas that seem too "weird." But if you have to solve a truly difficult problem, you're better off at 4 a.m. on your third slice of cold pizza with a room full of people wondering what it will take to get John Lennon to stop being such a dick.
"Imagine you're not a douche."
"It's too hard, I won't try."