“What’s your favorite color?”
While this question serves as a cheesy ice breaker on a first date to some, it could actually produce an insightful answer. Various studies have provided evidence which suggests that the colors we see, from the second we wake up, affect our mood and emotional state. This phenomenon, referred to as color psychology, is used everyday in media and in advertising to manipulate our subconscious without us even realising it. Being an Advertising major, this concept has always been of interest to me. In this post, I will discuss how different colors can subconsciously dictate our mood.
(photo taken from petrolicious.com)
A study published by the US National Library of Medicine conducted a single blind randomized control experiment that involved giving a group of test subjects one of 49 individually colored anxiety medication pills to measure how different colored drugs would affect people. The study was conducted on patients with varying diseases. The results of the study concluded that there was a positive correlation between certain colors and effects. The colors red, yellow, and orange yielded a stimulatory response from the subjects. Calmer colors like blue and green gave the patients a more sedative effect.
Businesses take this phenomenon into serious consideration when developing marketing strategies and brands. For example, McDonald’s uses yellow and red for its colors because these colors stimulate our brains and make us hungry. The goal of the golden arches is to subconsciously attract hungry people to their brand and their establishments.
This is a picture of my car. One of the main reasons I decided to purchase this car over others was the color. The moment I saw this color in person, I was immediately drawn to it and knew that it was the right color for me. I have always loved the color blue and especially liked this shade of electric blue. Ever since I bought it, I started to get much more attention driving around town. It always puts a smile on somebody’s face whenever they see it parked at a car show or zipping down a street. I find it to be, at least in my personal opinion, a very visually appealing color that tastefully complements an aggressively styled car. I happen to have a friend with nearly the same car but in black who says that his car doesn’t get nearly as much attention. Although the car is still very attractive, the color black doesn’t generate the same emotional response as the lighter blue color.
In conclusion, different colors affect our mood everyday without us even noticing it. Luckily we can use this to our advantage in many different ways. If you suffer from chronic anxiety, you can try to surround yourself with relaxing colors such as blue or green by painting your walls or hanging art. Highlighters are always bright colors to help stimulate our brains when we are reading or studying. There are an endless number of ways that color psychology affects our everyday lives.