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Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Psychology of Color

"Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions." - Pablo Picasso

Do you feel anxious in a yellow room? Does the color blue make you feel calm and relaxed? Artists and interior designers have long understood how color can dramatically affect moods, feelings, and emotions. It is a powerful communication tool and can be used to signal action, influence mood, and cause physiological reactions. Certain colors have been associated with increased blood pressure, increased metabolism, and eyestrain.

"Given the prevalence of color, one would expect color psychology to be a well-developed area," note researchers Andrew Elliot and Markus Maier. "Surprisingly, little theoretical or empirical work has been conducted to date on the influence of color on psychological functioning, and the work that has been done has been driven mostly by practical concerns, not scientific rigor."
Despite the general lack of research in this area, the concept of color psychology has become a hot topic in marketing, art, design, and other areas. Much of the evidence in this emerging area is anecdotal at best, but researchers and experts have made a few important discoveries and observations about the psychology of color and the effect it has on moods, feelings, and behaviors.

Of course, your feelings about color are often deeply personal and rooted in your own experience or culture. For example, while the color white is used in many Western countries to represent purity and innocence, it is seen as a symbol of mourning in many Eastern countries.

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