Science has officially validated one of your favorite office conversations: Tuesdays really do feel like Wednesdays. In fact, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays typically feel non-descript and tend to be more easily confused with each other, according to a new study.
The findings, published in PLOS One, come from the results of three studies. For the first, 1,115 participants answered a survey either in a normal week or a bank holiday week (the term for a public holiday in the United Kingdom, where the researchers are based). They were asked, “People sometimes have the feeling that they are on the wrong day of the week. For example, it might ‘feel like’ a Friday when it is in fact Wednesday. What day of the week does today feel like to you?” They responded by selecting one of the seven weekdays. For the second, 65 students at the University of Glasgow were asked to answer, as quickly as possible, “Can you tell me what day of the week it is?” when prompted by a computer. And finally, the third study asked another 60 students to write down words they related to each day of the week.
Overall, researchers found Monday (described as "boring," "hectic," and "tired" and Friday (associated with "party," "freedom," and "release") had more mental representations than Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and therefore were more distinct. In fact, people could correctly recall it was Monday or Friday twice as fast as they could Wednesday.
About 40 percent of participants also said it was one day of the week earlier or later—with most of the mistakes occurring during the middle of the week. More than 50 percent reported the wrong day when it was a bank holiday week.
"One reason behind midweek days evoking fewer associations than other days could be down to how infrequently they occur in natural language, thus providing fewer opportunities for associations to form—for example we have an abundance of pop songs which make use of Mondays and Fridays, while the midweek days are rarely used,” Dr. Rob Jenkins, researcher from the Department of Psychology at the University of York, said in a statement. The other authors were from the University of Lincoln and the University of Hertfordshire.
So until a major pop star releases “Today’s Not Wednesday” or “The After Memorial Day Blues” as the next hit single, you’ll just have to keep sighing when you realize it’s only Tuesday. We’ll be with you.