No, you’re not going mad, psychologists have found a much less worrying reason to explain why you can find yourself forgetting what day of the week it is.
But it’s a strange one.
New research suggests that we associate Mondays and Fridays with particularly strong feelings – almost personalities – leaving Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays fading to the back of our minds in between.
When asked what words they would attach to different days of the week, study volunteers created stronger identities for the opposite ends of the week, labelling Mondays with negative words such as “boring”, “hectic” and “tired”, while celebrating Friday with “party”, “freedom” and “release”.
When it came to talking about the ‘non-descript’ other days of the week, 4 in 10 participants said they sometimes confused the precise days. And when it came to a Bank Holiday week, well, nightmare.
So there might be more to that Monday’s Child nursery rhyme than we might have thought…
Lead researcher Dr David Ellis, from the University of Lincoln’s School of Psychology, 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. Our research implies that time cycles can shape cognition even when they are socially constructed.”
And to The Boomtown Rats’ I Don’t Like Mondays…
Dr Rob Jenkins, co project author from the University of York, also suggests that the strong Monday/Friday associations could also be to do with the fact that we hear them more often in everyday language and songs.
And, he adds: “If links can be made in the future that aspects of behaviour such as risk or tolerance also vary systematically over the week, the implications could be profound, not only for individual behaviour, but also for psychological measurement.”
The findings appear in the online journal Public Library of Science ONE.