Ever wondered why you forget what day of the week it is? Researchers may have found the answer.
If your mind has ever gone blank trying to remember exactly what day of the week it is, take comfort in the fact that this is now an officially recognized scientific phenomenon. And a new study has found that the problem is particularly bad on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
According to Science Alert, Mondays and Fridays are associated with the negative and positive feelings of the start and the end of the week, they tend to stick in our minds more readily. When it comes to the midweek monotony, however, people struggle to tell the days apart. Stress and excitement levels tend to balance out, making these the least memorable and most forgettable days of the week.
The results showed Monday was associated with negative words, such as ‘boring’ or ‘hectic’, while participants identified positive words such as ‘party’ and ‘freedom’ with Friday. In both cases participants had a higher number of mental associations, or representations, attached to Monday and Friday than non-descript mid-week days.
Lead researcher Dr David Ellis, from the University of Lincoln’s School of Psychology, said that “more than a third of participants reported that the current day felt like a different day, and most of those feelings were on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, reflecting the midweek dip in associations attached to different days.”
More than 40 per cent of those surveyed confused a preceding day with the present, with the majority making the mistake mid-week.
When researchers asked participants what day it was, those surveyed were able to recall whether it was a Monday or a Friday twice as quickly as mid-week days. Researchers also claimed the “entirely human construct” of the seven-day week – and peoples’ strong mental representations of the beginning and end of the week – had contributed to the social phenomenon known as ‘Blue Monday’.
They noted on Mondays that “heart attack risk is higher, suicide rate is higher, reported mood is lower, and stock returns are lower.”
Findings such as these, researchers claimed, indicated that “Mondays (and possibly Fridays) may be qualitatively different from the other days of the week”.
However, a second pattern from the results, which found a gradually mood improvement in the course of the week, suggested that rather than being “qualitatively different”, Monday and Friday were instead the extremes on a “continuum of change.”
via The Independent