Color Psychology & Color Association
Color is a useful resource when practically applied. Human's physiological reaction to different wavelengths is more than our ability to differentiate hue, value, and chroma. We also have emotional and physical responses to various wavelengths. Studies on these emotional and physical responses show that effects of color are both universal and cultural. Furthermore, although there are no conclusive results from studies on the psychological effects of color, scientists have found trends in human color associations. Understanding these common color associations gives you the power to manipulate your choice of color for the purpose of targeting a desired audience. This procedure is often used in the fields of advertising and designing in order to make a product more appealing.
1. Research common color associations.
2. Use this research to make generalizations on the emotional and behavioral effects of color.
3. Using "Color Matters- Global Color Survey," survey the class on common concepts linked with color associations.
4. For each question, find the most common response.
5. Compare the class responses to those from the Global Survey Results.
6. Analyze any trends between the two sets of data.
Research on Emotional and Behavioral/ Physical Responses to Colors
|Color Name||Emotional Responses||Behavioral/ Physical Responses|
|Black||Mystery & loneliness||n/a|
|White||Purity & balance||n/a|
|Blue||Freshness||Reduced pulse, body temperature and appetite|
|Green||Hopeful||Mentally soothing, calms nerves|
|Yellow||Spirituality & inspiration||Attention grabbing, alarming|
|Orange||Happy & lively||Perceived as glowing, also attention grabbing|
|Red||Passion||Over- exposure causes agitation, raises pulse, increased appetite|
This table shows some of the basic effects of color on the human mind and body. In order to better understand color associations, two sets of results from one color association survey will be studied. In this survey, the subject is asked to say which color, from a chart of 44 colors, comes to mind when thinking about a particular concept. To see color chart and survey click here, Global Color Survey
"Global Color Survey Results:
Since 1997, over 30,000 people from all points on the globe took the survey."
(Copyright Color Matters 1995-2002, J.L.Morton.)
Inexpensive - Brown
Powerful - Red (tomato)
Dependable - Blue
High Quality - Black
Nausea - Green
Deity - White
Bad Luck - Black
Favorite Color - Blue
Least Favorite Color - Orange
Happy - Yellow
Pure - White
Good Luck - Green
Good tasting - Red (tomato)
Dignity - Purple
High Technology - Silver
Sexiness - Red (tomato)
Mourning - Black
Expensive - Gold
Inexpensive- Yellows, browns & oranges
Powerful- Dark blue & blue
Dependable- Greens & blues
High Quality- Black & blue grey
Nausea- Muted yellow- green & mustard
Deity- White & sky blue
Bad Luck- Black
Favorite Color- Blues
Least Favorite Color- Mustard
Good Luck- Greens
Good tasting- Green & red
Dignity- Blues & purples
High Technology- Grey & silver
Comparing the Global Color
Survey results with the results of our class show that in almost every category
there are correlations between certain colors, or at least hues, and associations.
of the 18 associations the results are exactly
In only 3 of the associations are the results unrelated.
In the rest of 18 associations the results are similar, meaning that they are from the same color family or are adjacent on the color wheel.
image found at http://www.cyber-prof.com/mdia1194/Lesson%203/lesson3-color-wheel.htm
The strong correlation between colors and their associations proves that there is a lot to be said about this type of color psychology. This psychology is used in everyday life and can be manipulated in advertising to sell products and in designing to produce the most effective and desirable product.
Research on Color Associations
Colorteam- The Psychology of Color
Psychology of Color: Do Colors Affect your Mood?
Meanings of Color
Color Psychology and
Color Therapy. Faber Birren. New York University Book. 1961
The Power of Color.
Dr. Morton Walker. Avery Publishing Group. 1991
Many thanks to Dr. Bordley!