These are the words we most associate with days of the week

Louis Dor
Friday 21 August 2015 13:50

Friday is the happiest day of the working week, it’s official.

Tell us something we don't know, we hear you say, but a recent study has shown that the structure of our seven-day week shapes the way we think.

The research by psychologists from the Universities of Lincoln, York, and Hertfordshire is published in PLOS ONE.

They asked participants which words they most strongly associated with different days.

The results showed that Mondays and Fridays had stronger identities than midweek days.

Mondays prompt negative words like “boring”, “hectic” and “tired”, whereas Fridays produced positive words like “party”, “freedom” and “release”.

Forty per cent of participants confused the current day with a preceding or following day, mostly during the middle of the working week.

People were also twice as fast to correctly say the day of the week on a Monday or Friday, also suggesting those days have a stronger presence in our minds.

The number of mistakes rose to over 50 per cent when questioned during a bank holiday week.

People most often said it was the day before the correct one, indicating we most often feel a day behind during bank holiday weeks.

Dr David Ellis, lead researcher from the University of Lincoln, said:

The seven day weekly cycle is repeated for all of us from birth, and we believe this results in each day of the week acquiring its own character.

Indeed, 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.

Our research implies that time cycles can shape cognition even when they are socially constructed.

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