When I was planning out how to decorate my first dorm room before I moved into college, I considered every color combination on the planet. I heard that the color blue has calming effects, so naturally I decked out my side of the room in all shades of blue. My roommate followed my lead and matched her side of the room with the supposedly calming color also.
Now as I sit in my dorm stressed about the amount of work I have to do, I wonder if this theory is true. After doing a little research, I found that there is an area of science known as Color Psychology. Not only can color affect how you feel, but can also affect your behavior as well. The colors with emotional reactions attached to them include:
- Blue: Causes opposite reaction of red. It is peaceful and tranquil. causes body to produce calming chemicals. increases productivity. relaxation.
- Red: emotionally intense color. stimulates faster heartbeat and faster breathing. Can be a romantic color. Pink is more tranquilizing than red. can symbolize alarm.
- Green: relates to nature. Dark green is masculine, conservative, and implies wealth. Light green is refreshing.
- White: doctors and nurses wear white to imply sterility, but as far as moods go, white is also calming.
- Yellow: cheerful and sunny. can brighten up a room and therefore brighten up your feelings. Joyous.
- Purple: The color of royalty, purple connotes luxury, wealth, and sophistication. It is also feminine and romantic. However, because it is rare in nature, purple can appear artificial.
- Brown: Earthy. Light brown implies genuineness and dark brown can bring sadness.
- and Black: Symbolizes authority and power. Just like the color, it can darken up someone’s mood. Villains always wear black so it can have a learned affect of evil and negative feelings. Aggressive.
But will covering my room in one of these colors change the way I feel when I’m in the room? Many color psychologists will argue yes.
But there is a difference between learned and innate associations with color.
“You also have learned certain associations with color, such as red making your heart race since it’s linked with fire trucks and ambulances (in other words, alarm) or yellow having positive association simply because it was the color of your beloved grandmother’s kitchen. ‘As you get older, you become much more conscious of those learned reactions than the innate ones,’ adds Harrington.” -Huffington Post
I personally feel as though color itself doesn’t affect my mood as much as the brightness of a room. A dark room will make me feel more depressed, while a well-lit, sunny room filled with natural light and bright colors will make me feel revitalized. I don’t feel any difference when I’m in a blue room opposed to a pink one, but perhaps this method of room design works for some people.