Have you recently experienced the Monday blues, or did you have a day so exciting and full of potential that you whipped out a favorite, bold-colored outfit? Have you seen someone who was green with jealousy? We have long attached different colors to particular emotions, and now we know some of the science behind the effects of color on our emotions.
Exploring Color Psychology
The study of color psychology looks at the influence of color on human behavior and psychology. We are all witnesses to how color can affect our moods, feelings, and even behavior. Seeing the color yellow may remind you of the sun and brighten up your mood. It could be a glimpse of your favorite color, whatever that may be, that lifts your spirits.
There may be a combination of a number of factors behind the color and emotions connection. Scientists are now asking what lies behind these associations and how this all plans out in our minds.
Colors are also used in personality profiling, and certain colors have been attached to different personality types and traits. For example, red is often associated with power. In the Hartman Personality Profile, red symbolizes aggressive, controlling, and often intolerant personalities. Blue, on the other hand, is used to signify a personality that is more reserved, indecisive, and often cold.
Research in Color Psychology
Although much work has been done in studying color psychology, there is still room for much more. One of the challenging or interesting aspects of studying the effects of color is that they are largely dependent on perception, and this is largely influenced by society. This happens through influences such as popular opinion and stereotypes, elementary schooling, cultural norms, regional climate and landscape, and media and marketing.
Many of these influences have been studied. In one study looking at color associations from people from five different countries, namely the United States, Mexico, Poland, Germany, and Russia, the influence of the subjects’ cultural background was apparent. Studies have also been done to look at color preferences in children, the impact of clothing color on perceived attractiveness, and on gender and age differences in color preferences.
Outside of these studies looking at color and perception, more research work is needed to look at the inherent and biological associations our minds have outside of all the environmental influences discussed.
With all this said, there are six principles that the model of color psychology hangs on. Firstly, colors can hold a specific meaning. This meaning is based on either a learned meaning or on innate biological factors. The person evaluates a color automatically based on their perception. This then leads to certain behavior that is color-motivated. The influence of color is usually exerted automatically. Finally, the sixth principle is that the meaning and effect of color is also largely affected by the context.
Maximizing the Color Effect
As you can see, there is a lot of cloudiness in the matter because perception is never black or white. Perception is personal and can change and be impacted by personal negative or positive experiences. Nevertheless, the power of color is constantly being used to make decisions in various spheres of life. This includes your personal choices around what you are going to wear and what color you decorate your living space. These choices are not only motivated by what “looks good” but also by what makes you feel a certain way.
Artists as well as fashion and interior designers constantly make use of color associations in their work and designs. In the marketing, branding, and business world, color choice is everything and can allow a business to make a certain statement or tap into certain emotions in their audience. Therapists also use color to help their patients.