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Author Topic: Why do colours influence emotion?  (Read 77 times)

annie123

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Why do colours influence emotion?
« on: 18/04/2014 21:43:50 »
Why is it that some colours cause certain emotions in people? Why is green apparently a soothing colour? Red a colour that provokes more aggressive/passionate responses? Some say it is our associations, - fire, trees/plants etc. but has this been investigated world wide as to whether the same colours elicit the same emotions in different cultures? Why does feeling 'blue' imply sadness? Yellow cowardice? Purple royalty? etcetc. Is it just cultural development over time or is there a neurological explanation?

evan_au

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Re: Why do colours influence emotion?
« Reply #1 on: 19/04/2014 00:20:24 »
Some of it has been demonstrated across cultures: in combat sports, Olympians in red have an advantage over Olympians in blue. The association of red with blood also crosses cultural boundaries.

But I am sure that part of it is cultural associations. In Western cultures, we often use white for weddings, whereas in some Asian cultures, white is associated with funerals.

annie123

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Re: Why do colours influence emotion?
« Reply #2 on: 19/04/2014 21:20:54 »
There are surely some cultural associations, but are  there any studies about this? Why is it that kids will be more calm in a green room than an orange one? Surely there is some physical/neurological reason. I have had this same problem - not answered yet - re sounds. Why do some sound - especially minor keys - make people sad? There was a book about music and the brain which i read, but this question wasn't answered. I wrote to the author and he didn't know why. Surely this is very basic to music composition. We seem to have biggaps in our knowledge of how the environment affects the senses/emotions.

cheryl j

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Re: Why do colours influence emotion?
« Reply #3 on: Today at 00:08:19 »
Red might be associated with fire, with blood spilled, or the red face of your angry enemy, in which case it could be a learned association but also possibly innate. Red is also the color of a lot of positive stimuli - red berries or red lips. But I would agree it's a "play attention to me" signal.

Purple, I believe, was an expensive die from snails, so historically,  you had to be rich and special to wear it, so to me that seems cultural.

Perhaps yellow became associated with cowardliness because fear tends cause pallor, or because some animals (snakes, fish, etc) have a yellow belly when they roll over on their back.

As for blue, it seems to go both ways:
Blue skies
Smiling at me
Nothing but blue skies
Do I see

Bluebirds
Singing a song
Nothing but bluebirds
All day long



evan_au

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Re: Why do colours influence emotion?
« Reply #4 on: Today at 04:13:09 »
"Drunk Tank Pink" was proposed in psychological studies as a color that would calm aggression - some police stations started painting cells in this color - especially the cells for violent drunks - the "drunk tank".

 

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