This Could Be The Happiest Time Of Day

The morning is a rush. The workday is, well, work. But, there's one time of day in particular when things seem rather lovely and pleasant in many places around the world, reports The Atlantic's City Lab. Originally written up by Neuroskeptic, the study was published online this week in the Journal of Personality. In it, researchers looked at survey data from 5,440 participants in 20 countries. First, participants were asked to describe what they were doing at exactly 7 p.m. the night before. Then, they filled out a questionnaire that offered statements about that 7 p.m. experience. Participants rated whether, for example, "talking is expected" during that time and whether that experience afforded "an opportunity to express unusual ideas."  The results showed a pretty remarkable pattern: Across the 20 countries, people described rather mundane, but sweet, scenes of everyday life at 7 p.m. As Neuroskeptic points out, the most agreed-upon descriptors of people's 7 p.m. situations were "basically simple and clear‐cut,” "potentially enjoyable," and "social interaction is possible.” On the other hand, the most infrequent statement described someone "being abused or victimized.” 

Overall, the actual situations participants found themselves in at 7 p.m. sounded pretty darn pleasant. For instance, one respondent from the U.S. described "relaxing on the balcony" and "drinking wine." A participant in Italy said, "I was cooking pizza
with my boyfriend." And, someone from Singapore said, "I was with my cousins, aunts, uncles, grandma, and my own

Of course, the study has its limitations — mainly that the researchers only asked about 7 p.m., so we don't necessarily know how other times of day would compare. There's plenty of other research out there suggesting when and where people are the happiest (albeit not quite down to the exact hour). And, it's clear that a 7 p.m. "happy hour" isn't the norm for everyone. For example, this writer is usually scrambling to finish work or trying to find a spot on a crowded train home around that time. Not exactly a favorite. So, what does your 7 o'clock look like?

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