The Good, the Bad, and the Ordinary: The Day-of-the-Week Effect on Mood Across the Globe
Ming-Chang Tsai ()
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Ming-Chang Tsai: Academia Sinica
Journal of Happiness Studies, 2019, vol. 20, issue 7, No 4, 2124 pages
Abstract The weekly peak of mood has fascinated academics and the mass public alike. However, this phenomenon has not been explored from a global perspective. By analyzing large-scale cross-national survey data collected from the Global Attitude Survey conducted by Pew Research Center in 2014–2015, this paper offers cross-national evidence focusing on reporting a good or bad day across 46 countries. It was found that daily moods show a clear weekly cycle of feeling a “good day” (versus “ordinary” or “bad” day), but whether one is having a “best possible life”, a cognitive evaluation of life conditions this study uses, does not vary over the week. Religion appears to be a key explanatory factor. While Christians are not more likely to report a “good mood” than Muslims or those identifying with other religions, they appear to enjoy a “best possible life”, implying stronger influences by their distinctive worldview and sense of comfort. Also, the percentage of Christians in the whole population constitutes a very important structural context, such that in Christian-majority countries, Saturday and Sunday generated more good day reports than elsewhere. Muslim societies produce a very delightful context on Fridays. Other social structural conditions such as national wealth or income distribution generate mixed evidence. Policy implications are discussed in the conclusion.
Keywords: Happiness; Day-of-the-week effect; Comparative research; Religion (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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