We all have our favorite colors, patterns or shapes. But have you ever wondered if you’d feel different in a blue room than you would in a red room? Pablo Picasso once said that colors follow the changes of emotions, and this theory has since been researched. Many scientists now believe that color psychology plays a huge part in our emotions, mood and psychological reactions. So how does color affect you?
The psychological effects of color
Although many people believe colors are subjective, there are some colors that are associated with certain moods or attitudes. For example, those colors on the red side of the spectrum (including yellow, red, and orange) are regarded as warm colors and evoke feelings of comfort, warmth, and happiness. However, on the blue side of the spectrum (blue, green and purple) these colors are often associated with sadness, indifference, and calmness – hence why you would say, ‘I’m feeling blue.’
How other colors make us feel
As well as bunching these colors into different sides of the spectrum, they have also been investigated individually – with each color emitting different reactions and effects. For example, black has a symbolic meaning of menace or evil, and many people believe black makes them feel more powerful and confident. White is often associated with purity or coldness, with many people reporting it makes them feel clean, modern, and peaceful. Pink is often regarded as the most feminine color, making us feel creative, joyful, and childish. Green is often associated with nature and tranquility, and many people who wear it report a feeling of calm, peace and optimism. Each color comes with its own effect.
Color psychology and therapy
Many scientists are now using color psychology as a form of therapy which is more scientifically known as Chromotherapy. The treatment is used as an alternative treatment that uses color to heal the mind and body. Red is often used to stimulate blood flow and circulation, indigo is used to cure skin problems, orange is used to improve lung function, yellow is thought to stimulate the nervous system, and blue is used to treat pain. Many ancient cultures have used this technique in the past, including the Egyptians.
However, many scientists have viewed Chromotherapy with skeptic’s eyes. They have reported that colors have different meanings and effects across cultures and countries and that one color to one country may evoke a certain emotion, but it may produce a completely different one in another. Because of this, there is no way to test it completely. Scientists have also demonstrated that the effect of color is usually temporary, meaning the effects of a blue room will reduce after time.
Color can have an impact on performance
As well as emotions, color can also have an effect on people’s’ performance. A study found that students who saw red ink before an exam (for students, red is often associated with failure) performed worse than those who did not. Therefore, the negative color had a negative impact on the person.
Although there’s no concrete evidence of long-term gain or loss from certain colors, it’s definitely worth picking that paint color with a bit more thought now… After all, you never know how it’s truly going to affect you.