Color is everywhere. It is all around us. But have you ever stopped to think about what it all means? For example, why are people more relaxed in green rooms? Why do weightlifters do their best in blue gyms? Colors often have different meanings in various cultures. And even in Western societies, the meanings of various colors have changed over the years. But today in the United States, researchers have generally found the following to be accurate about color psychology.
Black is the color of authority and power. It is popular in fashion because it makes people appear thinner. It is also stylish and timeless. Black also implies submission. Priests wear black to signify submission to God. Some fashion experts say a woman wearing black implies submission to men. Black outfits can also be overpowering, or make the wearer seem aloof or evil. For this reason, villains are often depicted wearing black.
White reflects light and is considered a summer color. Brides wear white to symbolize innocence and purity. It is a popular color in decorating and in fashion because it is light, neutral, and goes with everything. White also represents cleanliness, so doctors and nurses wear white to imply sterility.
The most emotionally intense color is red. This color stimulates a faster heartbeat and breathing. For this reason, red is the color of love. Red clothing gets noticed and makes the wearer appear heavier. Since it is an extreme color, red clothing might not help people in negotiations or confrontations. Since red grabs peoples’ attention, red cars are popular targets for thieves and are more likely to be pulled over by cops. In decorating, red is usually used as an accent. Decorators say that red furniture is perfect since it will attract attention. The most romantic color, pink, is more tranquilizing. Sports teams sometimes paint the locker rooms used by opposing teams bright pink so their opponents will lose energy.
The color of the sky and the ocean, blue is one of the most popular colors. It causes the opposite reaction as red. Peaceful, tranquil blue causes the body to produce calming chemicals, so it is often used in bedrooms. Blue can also be cold and depressing. Fashion consultants recommend wearing blue to job interviews because it symbolizes loyalty. Studies reveal that people are often more productive in blue rooms and weightlifters are able to handle heavier weights in blue gyms!
The color green symbolizes nature. It is the easiest color on the eye and can improve vision. For this reason, green is currently the most popular decorating color. It is calming and refreshing. People waiting to appear on TV sit in “green rooms” to relax. Hospitals often use green because it relaxes patients. Brides in the Middle Ages wore green to symbolize fertility. Dark green is masculine, conservative, and implies wealth.
Cheerful sunny yellow is an attention-grabber and is considered an optimistic color. However, studies show that people lose their tempers more often and babies will cry more often in yellow rooms. It is the most difficult color for the eye to take in, so it can be overpowering if overused. Yellow enhances concentration, hence its use for legal pads. It also speeds up metabolism.
The color of royalty, purple symbolizes luxury, wealth, and sophistication. It is also feminine and romantic. However, because it is rare in nature, purple can appear artificial.
Solid, reliable brown is the color of earth and is abundant in nature. Light brown implies genuineness while dark brown is similar to wood or leather. Brown can also be sad and wistful. Men are more apt to say brown is one of their favorite colors.
Colors and Food
While blue is one of the most popular colors, it is one of the least appetizing. Blue food is rare in nature. Food researchers say that when humans searched for food, they learned to avoid toxic or spoiled objects, which were often blue, black, or purple. When food dyed blue is served to study subjects, they lose appetite.
Green, brown, and red are the most popular food colors. Red is often used in restaurant decorating schemes because it is an appetite stimulant.