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Surprising Science

Why Mondays Aren’t the Worst Day of the Week

Researchers have found no evidence that we experience Mondays as far worse than other days of the week, yet we persist in believing Mondays are bad due to the nature of the brain.

What’s the Latest Development?

A year-long Gallup study, which interviewed 1,000 people per day, suggests that despite popular nay-saying, we do not experience Mondays as especially worse than other days of the week. “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.” So why does our belief in blue Mondays persist?

What’s the Big Idea?

The answer gets at a well-worn psychological phenomena: We are apt to remember things differently from how we experience them at the time. Vacations are remembered through rose-colored glasses and so is the experience of driving by people who own luxury cars. “That we can so readily distort what happened in the past has far-ranging implications,” say researchers behind the Gallup study. “Decision-making often draws on knowledge from our experiences, yet given that the memories of these can be flawed, so may be the decisions.”

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