Archive for Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Colors can affect mood

April 17, 2007


What is color blindness?

People who are color-blind can't see the full range of colors because the color-sensing cells in their eyes don't work properly.There are different kinds of color blindness. Some people can see all shades of red, green and blue, but one of those colors doesn't show up well. The most common type of color blindness is the inability to see greens accurately.A few color-blind people are unable to see one of those three pigments - blue, red, green - at all. And in rare cases, a person might be totally color-blind and see the world only in shades of gray.About 8 percent of males are color-blind; it's rare in females. That means about one out of every 12 boys reading a color newspaper page can't see the colors accurately.

You know how your favorite color looks, but have you ever thought about how it makes you feel?

Colors can affect your emotions. For example, it is generally accepted that red makes people feel agitated, even if they are not fully aware of it.

"Bright colors are very stimulating, and muted colors are very soothing," said Jill Morton, a color expert based in Hawaii who has worked with major companies to come up with colors for their products.

Morton said that one reason colors might affect us is that over thousands of years humans have learned to respond to colors based on their roles in nature. Green, for instance, might make people feel fresh and hopeful because it is associated with healthy crops and abundant food. Likewise, red might represent aggression and fear because of its association with fire and blood.

Today, colors are used in marketing to try to get people to react a certain way. For example, Morton chose the colors for a new kind of pain medicine for adults. The company wanted to stress how quickly the medicine works, so Morton made the tablets red (to suggest something fast) and gray (something high-tech).

Some people don't believe in these reactions, but there are studies to support them. One showed that Olympic athletes who wore red uniforms won their competitions slightly more often than those who wore other colors.


Causes the heart to beat faster.

How it can make you feel: Agitated and jumpy, rushed, hungry, fearful, strong, passionate.

Cues in nature: Red meat, blood, fire, berries.

How red is used: To show energy, strength and speed (examples: race cars and fire engines). Red is often found on the walls of fast-food restaurants because it makes you hungry. It also makes you eat more quickly.


The most restful color to the eye.

How it can make you feel: Fresh, hopeful, young, lucky, peaceful.

Cues in nature: Plants, grass and trees; some lakes, rivers and shallow ocean areas.

How green is used: Popular for home decorating. Also helps people feel calm in schools, hospitals and rooms where people prepare to go on television.


The most visible color of the spectrum; the eye notices yellow first.

How it can make you feel: Cheerful, hopeful, excited, focused.

Cues in nature: The sun, fruits and vegetables, flowers, autumn leaves.

How yellow is used: To get attention; on emergency vehicles, road signs and taxis. Keeps you alert and concentrating, so it's a popular color for writing paper. Can be overwhelming to the eye, so it's used little in fashion.


bearded_gnome 11 years ago

no word of how 'black' impacts people! one piece of research indicated that people in black uniforms are actually more agressive/violent. note: oakland Raiders' uniform.

maybe it would help if the comment boards on this site were featured in more muted colors, then we wouldn't attack each other so much?

okay, putting on my black cap now.

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