The Psychological Effects Of Color

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The Psychological Effects of Color

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction3


Purpose of the study5

Chapter 2: Review of Literature6

Types Of Colors6

Psychological Implications of Color7

A Conceptualization of Color and Psychological Functioning9

The Influence of Red on Performance in Achievement Contexts10

Chapter 3: Methodology13


Design and Procedure13

Experiment 116

Experiment 216

Chapter 4: Presentation of Research Findings18

Chapter 5: Analysis of data22

Chapter 6: Conclusions26


Chapter 1: Introduction


In 1666, English scientist Sir Isaac Newton discovered that when pure white light is passed through a prism, it separates into all of the visible colors. Newton also found that each color is comprised of a single wavelength and cannot be separated any further into other colors.

Further experiments demonstrated that light could be combined to form other colors. For example, red light mixed with yellow light creates an orange color. A color resulting from a mix of two other colors is known as a metamer. Some colors, such as yellow and purple, cancel each other out when mixed and result in a white light. These competing colors are known as complements. (Aarts 2003)

While perceptions of color are somewhat subjective, there are some color effects that have universal meaning. Colors in the red area of the color spectrum are known as warm colors and include red, orange, and yellow. These warm colors evoke emotions ranging from feelings of warmth and comfort to feelings of anger and hostility.

Colors on the blue side of the spectrum are known as cool colors and include blue, purple, and green. These colors are often described as calm, but can also call to mind feelings of sadness or indifference. Value is defined as the relative lightness or darkness of a color. It is an important tool for the designer/artist, in the way that it defines form and creates spatial illusions. Contrast of value separates objects in space, while gradation of value suggests mass and contour of a contiguous surface. In the drawing on the right, value contrast separates the artichoke from the background, and the separate leaves from one another, while gradation suggests the curves of leave surfaces and of the whole form.

When contrasting hues are made similar in value, the spatial effects are flattened out. The pair of images on the left demonstrate this. In the color image of the fashion model the coat draws the attention through contrast of hue although the skin tones blend with the background(remember the object of the image is to sell the coat, not the model). However, it also seems to be softly blending with a background that seems quite close, and is very similar to the coat in value. The face tends to blend with the background which is similar in both hue and value. In the black and white version, however, the coat virtually disappears, since only value, not hue, are available to distinguish it, and the values are quite similar. However, the strong value contrast of the eyes and hat draw the attention to the face, even though the contours of the face seem to melt into the background. Therefore the black and white version ...
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