The Echoes of the Mind (75-1) Color Psychology

Color Psychology

Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways. ~ Oscar Wilde

The psychological import of color cannot be understated. Colors elicit emotional responses, and so subconsciously shade our affinities and aversions.

Unquestionably color has a physical effect upon the human organism. ~ American color maven Faber Birren

Perceptions not obviously related to color are nonetheless affected by hue. Consumers generally make an initial judgment of a packaged product within 90 seconds of exposure to it, and that denouement is largely based on color.

The color of placebo pills is a factor in their effectiveness. Whereas a hot-colored pill works better as a stimulant, a cool-colored pill is a more apt depressant. The relationship is a product of expectation, not of color itself.

The warmth or coolness of a color generally has an excitatory or calming effect respectively. It is as if higher frequency wavelengths are able to impart indifference.

Streetlights which cast bluish light anecdotally reduced crime in certain neighborhoods. And most every heterosexual man is moved by the sight of a woman in a flaming red dress: interpreting it as a sign of being sexually receptive. (Women also interpret a woman in red as being sexually receptive.)

Red is universally associated with arousal. Seeing red speeds reaction time regardless of gender. But red alters perception more for males than females. Men experience time dilation with red in front of them (time subjectively slows), whereas women are not so affected.

Red is a sign of dominance in primates. Owing to increased blood flow, the skin flushes red with anger: an alert signal to which males are more responsive; hence the emotional valance of red differs by gender.

In the 2004 Olympic Games, contestants in four combat sports were randomly assigned red or blue outfits. If colour has no effect on the outcome of contests, the number of winners wearing red should be statistically indistinguishable from the number of winners wearing blue. However, we found that for all four competitions, there is a consistent and statistically significant pattern in which contestants wearing red win more fights. ~ English anthropologists Russell Hill & Robert Barton

How people typically react to color varies. This personal preference may be influenced culturally but is rooted in individual biology. Whereas children’s color preferences change, adult color inclination is typically settled.

As with red, color generally has a gender component. Whereas bold colors are typically considered masculine, pastels, particularly pink, are construed as feminine. Again, personal preferences may defy such classification.

Pink isn’t just a color, it’s an attitude. ~ American singer Miley Cyrus, who suffers no shortage of attitude