8 Interesting Psychological Effects of Colour

Colours can influence perceptions that aren’t obvious, for example, the taste of a meal. The effect of colour on one’s psychology differs between people. The following are some interesting psychological effects of colour.

1. Colours Can Evoke Different Emotions

Different types of colour evoke different types of emotions, but the emotions evoked differ for different types of people. Factors like age, gender and culture influence the emotions that colour evokes in a person. For example, most men think a red outfit enhances the attractiveness of a female, but this is not the case for women.

There are many psychological effects of the colour red. Some companies use it as their theme colour because science has proven that it evokes the feeling of urgency.

On the other hand, finance, technology, car, and healthcare companies tend to use blue a lot in their advertising and in their logos. This is because blue evokes the feeling of trust and tranquility. For this same reason, when you want to paint your home in a serene colour, blue is often a popular choice among painters.

2. Colours Can Play Tricks On Your Mind

A neurologist known as Kurt Goldstein did some studies about the relation of colour and appearance of an object back in the 1930s. He came to the conclusion that people perceive red objects as heavier than they actually are, while green objects are perceived to be lighter.

Another study done by a coffee shop showed that when the shop’s walls were light blue, customers kept complaining about the cold; but when they changed the colour to orange, although the temperature was exactly the same, the complaints stopped.

In another incidence, a casino did a study that showed people tended to gamble for long periods when table tops were red.

3. Colours Affect the Memory

Psychologists have done studies that demonstrate a connection between memory and colour. It turns out that people find it more difficult to remember the facts presented to them in black and white than it is to remember those presented in colour. For example, notes printed in colour are more helpful than those printed in black.

It is also easier to remember a scene from a full-colour movie than it is to remember a scene from a black and white movie. Generally, it is easier to forget something if it has a black and white theme than it is to forget something with colour. This is perhaps because colour has a strong effect on the senses responsible for forming memories.

4. Some Colours Cause Nausea and Dizziness

Scientific proof has shown that yellow causes dizziness and nausea. For this reason, you will never see yellow in the interior of an airplane. In fact, it is recommended that the colour yellow should not be used in the interior design of any form of transportation.

When companies are shooting advertisements and have to use the colour yellow, they do it either sparingly or strategically for impact, since the psychological effects of colour may have varying results.

5. Some People are Afraid of Certain Colours

While most people just tolerate colours they do not find appealing, others are actually afraid of them. Chromatophobia or chromophobia refers to the irrational fear or aversion to specific colours. For most cases, chromophobia results from a pre-conditioned response or trauma arising from a negative experience from the past that involved a specific colour.

6. Black Makes One Appear Powerful

Most companies use black in their logo to evoke the feeling of power. Various studies have shown this same psychology can be applied to humans. Some researchers did an experiment on over 52,000 professional hockey matches.

At the end, they came to the conclusion that when teams wear black jerseys, they tend to be penalized more frequently for aggression by referees. The psychological effects of the colour black is the reason lawyers and judges are almost always dressed in black.

7. Men and Women Perceive Red Differently

Researchers at Arizona State University discovered that being able to see red in its full glory is largely dependent on gender. There is a specific gene that allows one to see and interpret the colour red and its related shades, e.g. cardinal, crimson and maroon. The gene linked to the ability to see red is known as the X-chromosome.

By nature, women have 2 x-chromosomes, which gives them the ability to see and interpret the whole red spectrum better, whereas males have only one x-chromosome, which makes it harder for them to notice the difference between red and other red variants such as maroon.

8. 62-90% of a First Impression is Dependent on Colour

When you meet with a person for the first time, the first impression you make of them comes from colour recognition. A study showed that people who regularly wear black or neutral colours make less positive first impressions than people who regularly wear bright colours. By dressing in bright colours, your chances of forming close bonds are higher.

To be more specific, when a woman wears hints of red, and a man wears hints of blue to a first date, it could result in stronger feelings and an almost guaranteed second date. When going for a job interview, you are more likely to get hired if you dress in black.

Ronald Ryan

I'm a self-proclaimed science geek and all-around nerd. Useless fun trivia seems to be my forte. If you ever need to hear a good dad joke, I'm your guy!

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