Insight of the Week
November 17, 2023

Time Intervals Feel Shorter in Calendar Dates

New research shows that time windows seem shorter in a calendar framing (Jan 1 to Jan 6) compared to a days-of-the-week framing (Mon to Sat).

Monday to Saturday is large portion of a weekly scale, but Jan 1 to Jan 6 is small portion of a monthly scale


Suppose that it takes 6 days to deliver your product.

How should you frame this duration?

  • Days-of-the-Week: Mon to Sat
  • Calendar: Jan 1 to Jan 6

Days-of-the-week might seem better, right? These events are constrained within a week, so they might feel shorter.

But surprisingly, calendar dates will make a time interval seem shorter (Sokolova, 2023).

Each frame activates a different scale:

  • Monday to Saturday. Weekly scale in which 6 days is 85% wide.
  • Jan 1 to Jan 6. Monthly scale in which 6 days is only 15% wide.

Calendar framing has a shorter relative length, which makes the duration feel shorter.


  • Use Days-of-the-Week for Positive Events. Vacations, conferences, festivals. These events will seem longer, helping you justify ticket prices.
  • Use Calendar Dates for Negative Events. Shipping, construction, detours. These events will seem shorter, helping you minimize the perceived hassle.

Other New Studies

  • Same Cues, Same Purchases - You repurchase the same brand if this new purchase resembles the previous purchase (e.g., same retailer, same weekday, same basket size; Koll & Plank, 2022).
  • Attractive MBA Grads Secure Better Jobs - Even 15 years later. But the effect was less relevant for tech jobs (Malik, Singh, & Srinivasan, 2023).
  • Religious People Are Less Likely to Seek Help - They rely on God, not people. This effect happened in various contexts (e.g., applying for government aid, asking for favors, requesting donations from crowdfunding; Liu, 2023).