wellbeing-brand-logo

Inspired living

Why do we hate Mondays and love Fridays?


Businessman staring at clock in office

Credit: iStock

How are you doing today? Are you suffering a little Monday-itis? Don’t worry, by Friday you are sure to be feeling a lot better. It is undeniable that certain days of the week have a definite ‘feel’ to them and equally true is that sometimes it is harder to work out what day of the week it is than others. In a new study researchers have discovered why all of this may be so.

For the study researchers asked subjects to report words that they associated most strongly with different days and interviewed them about other aspects of their mental approach to days of the week.

The researchers also found that people could recall which day of the week it was twice as fast when it was Monday or Friday compared to the mid-week days.

They found that Mondays and Fridays have a higher number of mental associations with them then the mid-week days. Mondays were linked to words like ‘boring, ‘hectic, and ‘tired’ while Fridays were associated with ‘party’, ‘freedom’, and ‘release’. The mid-week days Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday had less strong identities and therefore were more likely to be confused with each other as they were regarded as more nondescript.

It was also found that almost 40 per cent of participants confused the current day with the preceding day or the following day and that most of these mistakes occurred in the middle of the week. The incidence of these kind of mistakes rose above 50 per cent in weeks where there was a public holiday. The researchers also found that people could recall which day of the week it was twice as fast when it was Monday or Friday compared to the mid-week days.

This research shows that even though time is a constructed phenomenon, it still shapes our thinking. It only takes something out of the ordinary like a public holiday to disrupt our sense of where we are in space and time. Mid-week days also occur less in language which is why they have less of an identity in our thought. As the song said, “Monday I’ve got Friday on my mind” as if the other days don’t exist. So at last we have an answer to Bob Geldof’s question and we know why he doesn’t like Mondays (but at least he knows they exist!).



 

Terry Robson

Terry Robson is the Editor-in-Chief of WellBeing and the Editor of EatWell.