Author Topic: Blue Monday  (Read 4737 times)

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Offline Maik

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Blue Monday
« on: Monday, 21 January, 2019 @ 13:09:36 »
Today is Blue Monday, or rather, it's not.

Blue Monday: a depressing day of pseudoscience and humiliation

Its creator, Dr Cliff Arnall, devised it for a travel firm. He has since admitted that it is meaningless (without actually saying it's wrong).

Dr Arnall is usually described as a Cardiff University psychologist. To be a Cardiff University psychologist you usually have to be employed/publish research from Cardiff School of Psychology, hence I can claim to be one. Dr Arnall briefly taught some psychology-related evening classes at the university's adult education centre. Apparently, this makes him a Cardiff University psychologist. Using that logic, I'm an Asda manager because I once made one of their staff fetch me a discount chicken.

Blue Monday is a name given to a day in January (typically the third Monday of the month) claimed to be the most depressing day of the year. The concept was first publicised as part of a 2005 press release from holiday company Sky Travel, which claimed to have calculated the date using an equation. It takes into account weather conditions and thus only applies to the Northern Hemisphere.

The idea is considered pseudoscience, with its formula derided by scientists as nonsensical.

This date was published in a press release under the name of Cliff Arnall, at the time a tutor at the Centre for Lifelong Learning, a Further Education centre attached to Cardiff University. Guardian columnist Ben Goldacre reported that the press release was delivered substantially pre-written to a number of academics by public relations agency Porter Novelli, who offered them money to put their names to it. The Guardian later printed a statement from Cardiff University distancing themselves from Arnall: "Cardiff University has asked us to point out that Cliff Arnall... was a former part-time tutor at the university but left in February."

Like a lot of these press releases, it was simply designed to get a company free advertising in the media.