Color psychology

From ArticleWorld

Colour psychology is a relatively new field of study into the effects of colour on human behaviour and feeling. Viewed with skepticism by many in mainstream psychology who consider the reaction to colour subjective and dependent on culture, the approach has been labeled an alternative medicine. Practitioners of colour psychology maintain that there are certain reactions to colour that are common to most people. These reactions are accompanied by physiological effects as well.

Reaction to colour

Reds, for example, are usually regarded as ‘warm,’ active and exciting while blues and greens are ‘cool,’ soothing and passive. Physiological tests reveal that looking at something of a red hue results in an increase in body tension, while looking at a cool colour releases body tension.

Studies carried out in the area of colour psychology have shown some interesting results. One study found that weight lifters had better results when working out in blue rooms and babies seem to have more of a negative response to yellow rooms as they cry more often. It is the premise of colour consultants that colours used in an environment can have a significant effect on the feelings and performance of the people within that environment.

Different cultures

While colour psychology may be relatively new in the West, the ancient Chinese, Egyptians and Indians used colour for healing purposes, or chromotherapy. Different cultures react to colour differently. For example, black is the colour of mourning in Western countries, whereas white is the symbol of mourning and death in China. In India, blue with its associations with Krishna is a very positive colour and red is the colour of purity and so it used for weddings. As purple has royal connotations in the west, yellow is its equivalent in many Asian countries.