Color Will Control You
1 June 2018
Color Will Control You
As you look around, your eye and brain work together to gather information. At that time, you will notice everything you saw have color. But you might do not know that those colors are always affecting your emotion and behavior. Some decision that you think you do might is the result of the color’s instruction. The color psychology is the study of hues as a determinant of human behavior. According to the study of the color psychology, the color can affect people’s sense, mood, the effectiveness of placebos and so on. Because of the effect, sometimes, the doctors will use the color to treat their patients, which is the color therapy. However, some people do not believe that the color could affect people’s emotion and behavior. This research aims to find the psychological effect of colors on individuals in the different situation. In particular, this paper proposes that every color has different meanings and influence, the colors can roughly divide into the red side of the spectrum and the blue side of the spectrum, the influence of color on male and female is different.
In the world, actually, there is nothing have real color. We can see the colorful vision is because our brain uses our eye to interprets electromagnetic radiation of a wavelength within the visible spectrum. The range of visible light that humans can perceive is about 390 nm to 700 nm. The different wavelengths cause people to see the different color, just like the spectrum below. Traditionally, the spectrum is divided into seven separate bands, which like a rainbow. Newton was the first person who defined it. The wavelength of over 750 nm is called infrared, and under 350 nm is called ultraviolet. Every color on the spectrum can change in saturation, lightness, and darkness (“Physics of Color” 1). White and black are not defined as a color because it is the sum of all possible colors, and it does not have any light
Fig. 1. “Physics of Color.”, GBI Knowledge Center
The human eye can distinguish about 7 to 10 million colors variations, which based on the changing sensitivity of different cells in the retina to light of different wavelengths. The human need the rods and cones to see the color vision. If people only have rods in their retina, they would see everything monochromatically. More specifically, the retina contains three types of cones and each of which response primarily to a region of the visible spectrum: L to red, M to green, and S to blue. “The peak sensitivities are 580 nm for red (L), 540 nm for green (M), and 440 nm for blue (S). Red and green cones respond to almost all visible wavelengths, while blue cones do not respond to wavelengths longer than 550 nm. The total response of all three cones together peaks at 560 nm, which between yellow and green in the spectrum” (Elert 23).
28467051805940Fig.3. ” HYPERLINK "https://physics.info/" "https://physics.info/color/_top" The Physics Hypertextbook”
Fig.3. ” HYPERLINK "https://physics.info/" "https://physics.info/color/_top" The Physics Hypertextbook”
-19113562865Fig. 2. “How Do We See Color?”by Stephanie Pappas, Live Science Contributor,
Fig. 2. “How Do We See Color?”by Stephanie Pappas, Live Science Contributor,
Because the brain receives the message from the light receptor in eyes, and it interprets and names colors, people can see the colorful world. The image shows the visual pathways in the human brain. The ventral stream and the dorsal stream is significant for color recognition. Both of them transmit the information from the same place in the visual cortex.
Fig.4. The visual pathways in the human brain
In psychology, emotion is defined as “a complex state of feeling that results in physical and psychological changes that influence thought and behavior” (Cherry 2). And there are 6 major theories of emotion, which can divide into 3 main categories that physiological, neurological, and cognitive. Those theories argue that responses within the body, activity within the brain and mental activity have an important role in forming emotion. There are some examples of the emotion theories. According to Evolutionary theory of emotion, we have the emotion is because the emotion played an accommodative role. Emotions motivate people to react, and it is significant to live and succeed ( HYPERLINK ;https://www.verywellmind.com/kendra-cherry-2794702; Cherry 4). The James-Lange Theory of Emotion suggests that the emotional reaction is caused by the external stimulus and physical reaction. For example, people think when they feel scared, they will tremble. But actually, you feel afraid because you are trembling. The physical reaction is first and the emotional reaction is the next ( HYPERLINK ;https://www.verywellmind.com/kendra-cherry-2794702; Cherry 5).
Although there are many types of emotions, all of them have some common characteristics. Firstly, the most of the mammals have the emotion, and it is largely non-purposeful and instinctive. For example, sometimes people can see the emotional shift of their pets or other animals. Secondly, emotional behaviors directly connected with the subcortical structures and the autonomic nervous system which control human’s basic behaviors. Lastly, the emotion appears to be innate. For example, fear, anger, and happiness (Hall 1).
Researchers have approached the classification of emotions from two angles. First, they think the emotion are separate and basically different constructs. And the second opinion is that the emotions can be characterized into different categories.
III. Color Psychology
Every color have different meanings and some of them have universal meaning. Also, the colors can roughly divide into two groups that the red side of the spectrum and the blue side of the spectrum. The warm colors induce energetic feeling and the cool colors have calming effect. For example, “Red” shows the energy, passion, love, excitement, and “Black” shows the evil, unhappiness, dangerous and so on.
Fig. 5. “Color Psychology: Does It Affect How You Feel?”
by HYPERLINK "https://www.verywellmind.com/kendra-cherry-2794702" Kendra Cherry, verywellmind
The research paper “Color and Visual Comfort” by Cecilia Rios Velasco, studies the effect of the work environment’ s color on people’s occupants through 4 different types’ experimental studies. For example, switching the color of office, paint the office with monochromatic color and so on. According to this paper, people will feel anxiety in the red office and feel depression in the blue office. Also, the author finds the difference in cognizance and preference between males and females. Male feel more depression, confusion, and anger in the brighter room, while female feel same things in the duller room. It is totally opposite that the effect of the different saturation’s color on males and females.
Additionally, in the paper “Color Assignment”, by Joe Hallock, the author’s research shows the relationship between the color and gender. Firstly, the author asked 232 people which include male, female and different generations’ people from 22 countries their favorite color and least favorite color. And the four pie chart illustrate the result of survey. Fig.6 and Fig.7 represents the favorite color of each gender. From this chart, we can see that more than half of male chose blue as their favorite color, and many female also chose the blue. Even though there is little difference in percentage, two ranking of the favorite color is almost same except purple. 23% of females said purple is their favorite color, while no male vote purple. In contrast, Fig.8 and Fig.9 represents the least favorite color of each gender, and from this, we can see that many people supported orange, brown and yellow as their least favorite color. In addition, 22% of males and 8% of females vote to purple, while “20.4% of males and 34.3% of females stated that purple represented courage and bravery”(Hallock 23). This result shows the gender difference on the effect of color.
Fig.6. Favorite color of male Fig.7. Favorite color of female
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Fig.8. The least favorite color of male Fig.9. The least favorite color of female
IV. Color Therapy
Every color has different meanings and effects. The psychologists distinguish those effect and use it for a therapy. In the research paper “Effects of Art Therapy Using Color on Purpose in Life in Patients with Stroke and Their Caregivers” by Mi Kyoung Kim1 and Sung Don Kang, the author seeks to define the effect of color therapy on patients and their caregivers by researching the differences of PIL (purpose in life) score between before and after color therapy. They also use the data control group to compare the results. Then they find that all the patients and their caregivers showed the higher mark of PIL than before they got color therapy, while the control group still only have the low level of life purpose. In addition, before the therapy, the patients, and their caregivers only chose few dark tone’s colors, but after the therapy, their choice was changed. They chose the brighter color and the number of colors also increased. This examination shows that the color therapy actually have the effect on the human’ s emotion and the color could change people’s mood and decision.
Fig.10. “Effects of Art Therapy Using Color on Purpose in Life in Patients with
Stroke and Their Caregivers” by Mi Kyoung Kim and Sung Don Kang
Through this research, we learned about the relationship between the color and human emotion. The different wavelengths cause people to see the different color. And people feel things because their body makes physical react first. Every color has different effects and it can also use for the therapy. Some of the colors have universal meanings but the effect of color on male and female are different. This research paper is important because the color is ubiquitous. Everything has color and it could affect people. If you know the effect of color and use it effectively, it will help you a lot. Maybe you can control your or others emotion by using color. And, you can avoid using the wrong color in some important situation.
Cherry, Kendra, and Steven Gans. “Can Color Affect Your Mood and Behavior?”Verywell Mind, Verywellmind, 24Feb.2018, HYPERLINK ;http://www.verywellmind.com/color-psychology-2795824.; www.verywellmind.com/
Cherry, Kendra. “Overview of the 6 Major Theories of Emotion.” Verywell Mind, Verywellmind, 25 Feb. 2018,www.verywellmind.com/theories-of-emotion-2795717.
Elert, Glenn. “Color.” Viscosity – The Physics Hypertextbook, physics.info/color/.
Hall, Richard H. Emotion. 1998, web.mst.edu/~rhall/neuroscience/04_affect/emotion.pdf.
Hallock, Joe. “Color Assignment.”www.urbachletter.com/1108/ColourAssignmentJoeHallock.pdf.
Kim, Mi Kyoung, and Sung Don Kang. “Effects of Art Therapy Using Color onPurpose in Life in Patients with Stroke and Their Caregivers.” Effects of ArtTherapy Using Color on Purpose in Life in Patients with Stroke and TheirCaregivers, 28 Nov. 2012, doi:PMC3521264.
Kurt, Sevinc, and Kelechi Kingsley Osueke. “The Effects of Color on the Moods of College Students.” SAGE Journals, 28 Feb. 2014, journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/
Murmson, Serm. “Why Do We Not List Black and White as Colors inPhysics?” Education – Seattle PI, 29 Sept. 2016, education.seattlepi.com/not-list-black-white-colors-physics-3426.html.
Pappas, Stephanie. “How Do We See Color?” LiveScience, Purch, 29 Apr. 2010, HYPERLINK ;http://www.livescience.com/32559-why-do-we-see-in-color.html.; www.livescience.com/32559-why-do-we-see-in-color.html.
“Physics of Color.” HYPERLINK ;http://www.globalbeads.com/downloads/physics_of_color.pdf.; www.globalbeads.com/downloads/physics_of_color.pdf.
RiosVelasco, Cecilia. “Color and Visual Comfort.” Color and Visual Comfort, Editedby Werner Lang and Aurora McClain, soa.utexas.edu/sites/default/disk/