The Psychology of Color

Authored by Christy Olsen
3-minute read.

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 a "Green Room" before appearing as a talk show guest?

Scientists have found that actual physiological changes occur in human beings when exposed to specific colors.

The study of color is known as chromodynamics, and this type of research is extremely useful in marketing because colors affect our decisions.

'Color' is a visually subjective experience based on life experiences, gender, age, and culture. It visually communicates. Each has literal or word associations, catchphrases, and symbols, representing the year's seasons or different environments, which will be covered in a later post on each color.

These interpretations vary from culture to culture worldwide and may change over time. Nevertheless, some general and universal reactions to color 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 sunshine. It makes us feel warm and 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 is associated with optimism, joy, and warmth. Visually, it appears soft to the touch but 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 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 appearing on a talk show or before an interview.

BLUE is strongly associated with the sky, a constant in our lives that gives us a feeling of trust and 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 suggests that pink makes people feel soft-hearted and calm. It is a tender and tranquilizing color. When rooms are painted pink, it reduces 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. Marketing gives us a sense of perspective and depth 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, all-white walls create a sterile or stark feeling that lacks warmth in an interior.

Color affects individuals differently based on their childhood experiences, gender, age, and culture. A visual experience may subconsciously affect the person's functions, controlled by the brain or emotions affecting behavioral aspects.

From infancy, we begin formulating feelings about colors that invariably carry over into adulthood. 'Color' is a personal experience. Everyone has their own unique experiences with color. The color we see is influenced by what we feel.

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

Do your feelings on each color differ from your friends or family?

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