Name: Mariya Davydenko

Area of Study: Personality/Social

In what program are you currently enrolled?


What year of the program are you currently in?

2nd year

Citation in APA format

Davydenko, M., & Peetz, J. (2019). Does it matter if a week starts on Monday or Sunday?: How calendar format can boost goal motivation. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 82, 231-237. doi: 10.1016/j.jesp.2019.02.005

Plain language abstract:

The present research examines whether viewing a calendar showing the today as the first day of a week affects the motivation to pursue ongoing personal goals. Motivation peaked when the calendar’s starting day (e.g., Sunday) matched the current day (e.g., Sunday) compared to when the calendar started on a different day (e.g., Monday, Studies 1a, 1b, 2). Viewing a calendar that portrayed the week as starting today (vs. a control calendar) also translated to greater self-reported progress on three personal goals over the next day (Study 2). The calendar format effect was present in both between-subjects designs (Study 1a, 1b, 2) and within-subjects design (Study 3). These studies extend research on the influence of temporal categories on projected goal pursuit to show the impact of calendar formats on motivation in the moment.

How did the idea for this research come about? 

This project came about based on previous research on the Fresh Start Effect (i.e., motivation peaks at the start of a new temporal category; Dai et al., 2014). We wanted to see if changing the visual representation of time through calendars could alter the fresh start effect. From the start of my MA, I have been interested in the fresh start effect. We have explored different ways that the fresh start effect could be manipulated. For example, we examined whether we could make every day feel like a fresh start through daily (each page shows a new day) vs. weekly (each page shows one week) planners influences planning. We also tested how manipulating monthly calendars to make any month feel like the first month of the year influences goal motivation.

How did you collect the data for this project? 

Data was collected through Amazon Mechanical Turk. We compensated participants $0.50 for a 10-minute study. We restricted participation to only Canadian and American MTurkers, as well as excluded anyone who previously participated in a similar study. Participants completed the study through Qualtrics.

Was the journal you published in the first journal you submitted this paper to?


Why did you choose this journal?

We chose JESP because we felt we had an interesting set of experimental studies and our research was in line with open science practices (preregistered, open materials, open data), things that JESP readers would value. We thought this journal would be a good outlet for the research and that we had a reasonable chance of acceptance.

How many other journals did you submit this paper to before it landed in the journal that eventually published your work?


What was your revision experience?

We went through 3 rounds of revisions (first with 2 reviewers, second and third with editor only). Based on reviewer comments in revision round 1, we conducted an additional study to try to address the issues the reviewers mentioned (we reported this study in the online supplemental materials). The editor did not believe that this study was the best way to address the reviewer comments, so we conducted another study (study 3 in main text). This paper was submitted as a short report (max 5000 words) and it was frustrating at times trying to include so many studies into such a small word limit. This paper reports a pilot study and four experimental studies (Study 1a, 1b, 2, 3). It was also difficult figuring out a way to run additional studies to address the reviewers’ comments, while making sure the study was feasible and within our resources.

How many rounds of revision did you experience?


Did you need to collect new data to satisfy a reviewer?


How long did it take from first submission to acceptance? 

10 months

Was this paper conducted as part of your MA thesis?


Was this paper conducted as part of your PhD dissertation?


Was this research conducted with your supervisor?


If yes, provide his or her name

Dr. Johanna Peetz

Was this research conducted with fellow graduate students in our program? 


Was this research conducted with researchers external to Carleton?


If yes, please provide names


For a copy of the pre-print, please click the PDF below:

Graduate Research Showcase – Mariya Davydenko

To access the published version, please click the link below: