Happy colors.

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by Enmos, Jun 22, 2008.

  1. Enmos Staff Member

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    Why do colorful things make people happy ?
    Bright colors are usually synonymous with happy colors.

    Is it conditioned by society/parents, or does it have deeper roots ?

    Springtime brings lots of color to the world, in the form of flowers and the likes.
    Spring time brings an abundance of food and is, for most animals, the time to mate.
    Could the phenomena of happy colors have to do with spring time being a particularly happy time to our ancestors ?
     
  2. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    Studies, yes there have been studies made about colors, that certain colors do different things to our brains and can make us psychologically better feeling or more depressed. It seems that colors actually can help what "mood" you are in or can even put you in a certain type of mood depending upon the colors that are around you. Pink, for example, will calm people down it was found.
     
  3. DJ Erock Resident Skeptic Registered Senior Member

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    Red and Yellow are supposedly the colors that make people hungriest, or most comfortable for dining, so if you'll notice that almost all of the fast food chains feature red and yellow logos and signs.
     
  4. visceral_instinct Monkey see, monkey denigrate Valued Senior Member

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    red also slightly makes you adrenalized, blue calms you down.
     
  5. EmmZ It's an animal thing Registered Senior Member

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    Well, it must be something to do with the spectrum of energy emitted from colours. We all know colours on either end of the spectrum like infra red and ultra violet have physical properties, but colours must have a physical impact on our body's energy system. Of course, our emotions are just reactions to chemical changes in the body and so those can be affected by different colours from the spectrum. While there are mostly a vast array of hippies willing to tell you to stick red stones on your genitals to heal your sexual energy, I'm sure there is a much more valid and scientific approach to vibrations emitted by colours and their subsequent impact on our physicality and mental states. I reckon.
     
  6. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

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    This paper from the University of Georgia summarizes a study that "examined color-emotion associations and the reasons for emotional reactions given to colors."

    http://www.fadu.uba.ar/sitios/sicyt/color/aic2004/031-034.pdf


    It is interesting to note that one of the conclusions was:

    "Moreover, color conventions differ from one society to another. A well-known example is with the two achromatic colors; black and white. Death and mourning are associated with the color black in Western traditions, whereas in China the color of death is white. In the present
    study, the color black was associated not only with royalty, power, and wealth, but with death, mourning, and tragic events. Cross-cultural research could shed light on these issues by determining how cultural differences vary in color-emotion associations."

    Perhaps at least part of the emotional effect of colors is a learned response, dependent upon experience and culture.


    The paper also lists typical "emotional responses" to eighteen colors or hues by ninety-eight college student volunteers.
     
  7. EmmZ It's an animal thing Registered Senior Member

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    I understand we perceive colours according to our cultural definitions too. Particularly black. Some view it as a colour of strength and power, others view it as a negative colour, pertaining to death, as you say. But does this mean that our cultural identifications will affect the effect? How far would that go? Would that mean the colours along the spectral radius would have a different affect on us depending on our differing cultures?
     
  8. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

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    In theory, yes. But there seems to be little empirical research in this area.

    Per wikipedia:
    "Color symbolism and color psychology are culturally constructed linkages that vary with time, place, and culture. In fact one color may perform very different symbolic or psychological functions at the same place. Color symbolism is a contentious area of study dependent upon a large body of anecdotal evidence but not supported by data from well designed scientific studies."
     
  9. shorty_37 Go! Canada Go! Registered Senior Member

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    I think it is bullshit. So if I am really pissed off but go and sit in a blue room for a while I will calm down?
     
  10. shorty_37 Go! Canada Go! Registered Senior Member

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    I think it has more to do with the food. So red and Yellow, I am thinking McDonalds, Wendys, Mr. Sub, Subway, Swiss Chalet, all foods that I like.

    If they served liver, brussel sprouts, veal, cabbage I wouldn't care what colour the restaurant was.
     
  11. draqon Banned Banned

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    psychology of a person...colors affect mood of a person and the way a person feels and images in the mind that are brought when a particular color is seen.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. shorty_37 Go! Canada Go! Registered Senior Member

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    I think smells have more of affect over me then colors.
     
  13. draqon Banned Banned

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    again, it has to do with psychology...a particular smell carries memories of past and emotions with it.
     
  14. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

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    I thought so too, but the effect appears to be real, although not that extreme.

    The only reason that I know anything about this is because of a consulting project I did for a company some time ago. They were overhauling their corporate image including the logo and website. One of the project managers had a "thing" for color psychology. Since they were footing the bill, I went along with it, if somewhat skeptically. Anyway, we brought in focus groups and presented the participants with various color combinations and asked for their reactions. The results were collected individually, and privately (more or less). There was an amazing consistency to the responses.

    The effect the company was looking for was one of elegance, prestige and of course, wealth. The end result was that the colors black, silver and dark green seemed to provoke the appropriate emotional responses in a much higher percentage of the participants than would have been expected by chance.

    P.S. Not sure how successful this was in the long run, as the company subsequently went out of business... :p
     
  15. Enmos Staff Member

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    Thanks guys, but I was really interested in the reason why colorful things appear to be making people good-natured.
    I know different colors have different effects on people and that the meaning of colors differ per culture, but I'm talking about colorful in general and I want to know the reasons why.

    :)
     
  16. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

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    Does this help?

    http://www.360steelcase.com/e_article000498606.cfm?x=b11,0,w

    "Something that’s known: The rods in human eyes respond to the stimulation of different wavelengths of light. Different wavelengths cause different physical responses. For example, the wavelength that produces red requires the eye to adjust to catch it. Therefore, in purely physiological terms, red is an agitating color. Blue and green wavelengths are easier for the eye to perceive and, therefore, these colors are physiologically restful."
     
  17. Enmos Staff Member

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    Nope. Maybe I didn't pose my questions clearly in the OP.

    I want to know whether happiness by colorfulness evolved, and if so for what reason.
    If not, why ? Maybe conditioning, like parents indirectly telling us at a young age that colorful things are pretty.
     
  18. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    The sort of happy, cheerful, bright, simple colors some people decorate children's holding cells with always used to bother and irritate me, when I was a child.

    Not blue. There's a shade of off red, sort of a pinkish orangy red, that is used for that purpose in some places where somebody believes that it works - psych wards and certain rooms at police stations.

    In the backstage area of many music performance venues there is a waiting area for performers often called the "Green Room". It's very often painted or furnished in what is intended to be a pleasant and focusing shade of green. The color is intentional.
     
  19. John99 Banned Banned

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    Also remember that some regions of the world do not have spring or colors.
     
  20. gettingbrowned Registered Member

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    just a thought i had upon reading this thread.. (mainly from reading The Wheel of Time series). because brightly colored clothing and paints used to be harder to find and more expensive.. the affluent were more likely to have them. those who were not well off could only afford plain colored clothing, items, houses and decorations.

    maybe people like bright colors because they once signified success and wealth?
     

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