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Monday turns a lighter shade of blue.

Blues guitarist "T-Bone" Walker may have had a point when he crooned, "They call it stormy Monday, but Tuesday's just as bad, Wednesday's worse and Thursday's also sad." State University of New York at Stony Brook psychologists find that middle-income, married men report elevated moods on weekends, while their emotional outlook dips to a steady level from Monday through Thursday.

Holding to the cultural stereotype of Mondays as singularly "blue," the men thought their mood was lowest on Mondays, although daily self-reports of mood did not support their general belief, note the researchers in the July JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY.

"This was an odd finding that popped out during a larger study of mood, stress and physical illness," says study director Arthur A. Stone.

In two initial studies, a total of 104 married men filled out mood reports for 90 to 112 consecutive days. Each wife reported daily perceptions of her husband's mood. A segment of 42 consecutive days with the most complete data was selected for analysis from each volunteer. The men were mostly white-collar workers around age 42.

The results: Positive mood was substantially higher and negative mood was lower on weekends (Friday, Saturday and Sunday). Mood worsened on Mondays and stayed about the same through Thursdays. Wives' reports corroborated this trend. Twenty-one of the subjects also reported their mood by telephone five times a day for two weeks. Again, Monday mood, even at 9 a.m., was not significantly lower than for any time on other weekdays.

Another 616 middle-class, married men were selected from a larger random sample of adults in eastern Long Island, N.Y. Subjects were mailed questionnaires in which they reported how they felt at the moment. Responses were distributed across different days of the week and showed a similar pattern; measures of depressed mood declined on the weekends and rose to a stable level on Mondays through Thursdays.

Of 57 subjects contacted from the first sample, two-thirds chose Monday as the day with the worst mood. The best mood was attached to Friday, with Sunday and Saturday close behind.

Middle-class, married men are not representative of all Americans, acknowledges Stone, but one would expect them to be prime candidates for "blue Mondays." A preliminary study of college students also finds no mood differences between Mondays and the other weekdays, he adds.

So why does Monday have an undeserved "stormy" reputation? One possibility, says Stone, is that the cultural belief in "blue Monday" colors general perceptions of that day but not daily mood reports over the long run. Also, the drop in mood from Sunday to Monday is the steepest of the week and makes Monday seem worse than other days.
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Title Annotation:research on relation of mood to day of the week
Author:Bower, Bruce
Publication:Science News
Date:Jul 27, 1985
Words:450
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