The Psychology of Color



Colors can stimulate, excite, depress, tranquilize, increase appetite and create a feeling of warmth or coolness. However, different colors affect us differently.


Have you ever wondered why people wait in what’s called a “Green Room” before they appear as a guest on a talk show?

Scientists have found that actual physiological changes take place in human beings when they are exposed to certain colors.

The study of color is known as chromodynamics, and this type of research is extremely useful in marketing because colors have an affect the decisions that we make.

'Color' is a visually subjective experience based on life experiences, gender age, and culture. It visually communicates, each has literal or word associations, catch phrases, symbolizes, represent the seasons of the year or different environments and that will be covered in a later post on each color.

These interpretations vary from culture to culture around the world and may change over time, nevertheless, there are some general and universal reactions to color which seem to be noted in most people.

RED is the most vibrant, compelling color in the spectrum, it attracts immediate attention and causes the pituitary gland to spring into action. It brings a feeling of warmth and stimulates appetite. It is a bold color, many revolutions may have been planned within a red room. 

ORANGE is an energizing color associated with the sunshine. It makes us feel warm, happy and gives us a feeling of enthusiasm. It is a citrus color, related to healthy food. People who wear orange appear friendly, outgoing, cheerful and adventurous. It is a favorite of children, teens, and athletes because of its playful, active qualities.

YELLOW is the happiest color in the spectrum because it associated with optimism, joy, and warmth. Visually, it appears soft to the touch however it pops out at us, making it a striking color. It stimulates clear thinking and aids in memory retention.

GREEN is the color of nature and the easiest color on our eyes. It is a calming and has a neutral effect on the human nervous system. Green is also a favorite color in hospitals because it relaxes patients. "Green rooms" are designed for people to sit, wait and relax before they appear on a talk show or before an interview. 
BLUE is strongly associated with the sky, a constant in our lives which gives us a feeling of trust, integrity and inspires confidence. It is also related to water which can be a tranquilizer.

PURPLE is a sensitive color that encourages us to daydream. It may also give us the feeling of nostalgia, mystery or inspire meditation. According to surveys, almost 75 percent of pre-adolescent children prefer purple to all other colors however purple can appear artificial to adults because it is rarely found in nature.

PINK is the most romantic color. Research suggested that pink makes people feel soft-hearted and calm. It is a tender and tranquilizing color. When rooms are painted pink, it reduced aggressive behavior. 

BROWN is the color of earth and wood, it makes us feel stable, reliable or sheltered. It communicates credibility, strength, and maturity and creates a neutral, comfortable and open atmosphere.  

BLACK is the absence of color and is the color of night, darkness, evil or death. It may bring feelings of despair, loneliness or fear because it is associated with black holes, haunted houses or villains. In marketing, it gives us the sense of perspective and depth and is related to formality, sophistication, elegance or any luxury item. 

WHITE is the color of the clouds and feels lightweight. When all colors are present in perfect balance, we see white. White clothing reflects light and keeps us cool. It is also the color of snow and may create a cool refreshing feel however in an interior, all white walls create a sterile or stark feeling that lacks warmth. 
Color affects individuals differently based on their childhood experiences, gender, age, and culture. It is a visual experience that may subconsciously affect the person's functions, controlled by the brain or emotions affecting behavioral aspects.

From the time of infancy, we begin to formulate feelings about colors that invariably carry over into adult life. 'Color' is a personal experience, everyone has their own unique experiences with color. The color we see are influenced by what we feel.

The field of chromodynamics is still not well understood. Studies are difficult because human emotions vary from person to person, their physical biology changes, and their past experiences in life maybe unique.

Do you find your own feelings on each color different than your friends or family?
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