What’s Your Favorite Color?

“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.


Placebo Study

Color Psychology Website

5 thoughts on “What’s Your Favorite Color?

  1. Justine Arlexandra Cardone

    I always think it is very interesting when you ask people what their favorite colors are. It is always funny that boys will usually say blue or red while many girls say pink and purple. It is interesting that certain colors link to the 2 different genders. I wonder how that happened. My favorite color is orange and it always has been but I couldn’t really explain why…I guess I’ve just always liked the brightness of the color. I definitely think that different colors can manipulate moods and kind of say a certain thing. I found this article that you may want to check out. It lays out every color and what it means and represents. http://www.colour-affects.co.uk/psychological-properties-of-colours

  2. Jacob Alexander Loffredo

    What you said about certain colors having an effect on our mood and emotional state is so accurate. When I wake up in the morning and the sun is not bright and everything outside my window is dark my mood is instantly changed. Colors have an affect on my emotional state as well, my favorite color is orange and whenever I see an orange car or even someone wearing bright orange clothing my mood is changed from I guess the excitement or the appeal to my eyes. I know you already mentioned what a few of the colors represent in terms of feelings and the way we react but Here is a link to a cool website getting a little more in depth with the colors.

  3. Beza Yoseph

    First off, very interesting point about McDonald’s and that tactic, I had no idea and now will never forget it. I totally believe that colors enact different moods and emotions within us, and I totally agree that they can change or effect mood. My favorite color is blue, but not the blue of your car, more of a light blue. This color gives me a very calming and mellow feeling, unlike my very loud and harsh personality. If i had to pick a color off of my personality, I think it would be yellow or orange. So I think they can not only describe personalities and emotions but also compliment and pair with them as well. Here’s an interesting article about emotions that are evoked when people see colors http://www.creativebloq.com/web-design/12-colours-and-emotions-they-evoke-61515112

  4. William Joseph Robbins-cole

    I am living in east and I was talking to one of the people in the marketing department for the food services. He is working directly with how the colors of the pillars, for example, in Findlay might naturally draw us to certain restaurants. I find this type of thing very interesting and here is a blog e on how colors affect what we buy. https://blog.kissmetrics.com/color-psychology/

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