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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: 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)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1007/s10902-018-0035-7

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