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BY: ARTHUR A. STONE ….. Published: October 12, 2012
Mondays Aren’t as Blue as We Think
Two colleagues and I recently published an analysis of a remarkable yearlong survey by the Gallup Organization, which conducted 1,000 live interviews a day, asking people across the United States to recall their mood in the prior day. We scoured the data for evidence that Monday was bluer than Tuesday or Wednesday. We couldn’t find any.
Mood was evaluated with several adjectives measuring positive or negative feelings. Spanish-only speakers were queried in Spanish. Interviewers spoke to people in every state on cellphones and land lines. The data unequivocally showed that Mondays are as pleasant to Americans as the three days that follow, and only a trifle less joyful than Fridays. Perhaps no surprise, people generally felt good on the weekend — though for retirees, the distinction between weekend and weekdays was only modest.
Likewise, day-of-the-week mood was gender-blind. Over all, women assessed their daily moods more negatively than men did, but relative changes from day to day were similar for both sexes.
And yet still, the belief in blue Mondays persists.
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HOW do we make sense of these findings?
The human brain has vast, but limited, capacities to store, retrieve and process information. Yet we are often confronted with questions that challenge these capacities. And this is often when the disconnect between belief and experience occurs. When information isn’t available for answering a question — say, when it did not make it into our memories in the first place — we use whatever information is available, even if it isn’t particularly relevant to the question at hand.
In the case of the blue Monday belief, it is likely that heuristics are at work.
Thinking that Monday is the worst day of the week may be based on our innate attention to change: the shift from pleasant Sundays to ordinary Mondays constitutes the largest change in mood over a week for a person working a typical weekday shift. So, when thinking about mood on different days of the week, we react to change rather than the absolute levels of daily mood — a so-called contrast effect. In doing so we get it wrong, at least in terms of representing the actual mood experience in memory.
For full article, read more here: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/14/opinion/sunday/blue-mondays-arent-really-blue-so-why-do-we-think-they-are.html?_r=0
We ALL are ONE!!
We ALL have our MONDAYS!!