Can the Color Red Change Your Feelings?

What’s your favorite color? I’m going to prove to you why your favorite color is red. Psychologically your eye loves the color red. When you see it what do you think comes to mind? Love? Anger? Passion? On top of those it makes you feign for food. The majority of restaurants you see have red in their logo or somewhere on their sign. This is especially true in the fast food industry because of the small amount of time people may pass by and see their sign. They use it because it is known tImage result for wendys logoo have the longest wavelength making it jump out, among the other colors, at a person looking with the naked eye. With such boldness it has an effect much like a small energy drink, I that fact that it increases our energy and excitement. According to Psych2Go, with this sudden burst of energy it triggers your heart rate and metabolism to kick into overdrive. Which in turn makes your body crave fuel for that energy in the form of food.

Many marketers use this information to market to mass audiences, but don’t people act and think differently? Although this is widely believed to be true, as we learned from Andrew, correlation does not equal causation.  What if there is a third confounding variable that isn’t being tested. An extremely possible third variable that may play a factor in our decisions is:

  • Smell

It is possible that the color of a sign doesn’t have as big of an effect as we think? The smell of the food leaking through the car vents as we drive down the road could have an impact as well. As stated by the American Psychological Association, when a person is in the state of hunger it has the ability to heighten our sense of smell. It also stated that people who are overweight had a much larger reaction than their skinnier counterparts. On top of Image result for cow farmthat many people are triggered by a scent from their past. Many past farmers welcome the smell of cow dung because of the memories they have from the lively hood they used to or still have. To the average person that smell would be overwhelming and hard to bare, but it may show there is a link between someones surrounding causing them to make decisions.

Overall, the theory of red making us hungry has a lot of backing and science behind it to make it believable. This theory may suffer from the file-drawer problem if there were studies that confirmed the popular belief, making it unworthy of publishing. I would like to hear the opinions of our class. Have you ever caught yourself making an extra stop while getting a sudden and spontaneous urge for food?

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4 thoughts on “Can the Color Red Change Your Feelings?

  1. Marissa Dorros

    This post interested me because I’ve previously studied how people consciously pay attention to the power of colors in order to control the subconscious of others. As you explained about the fast food chains, color is deeply involved in marketing. The studies discussed within this research describe how consumers’ perceptions of brands is based on the colors associated with that brand. The color or colors that a brand chooses to be associated with must be effective for their target market and to establish a personality for their brand. In addition to choice of color, marketers must pay attention to saturation and hue. In a painting class I took, we learned about how in the painting process, artists consider the influence that colors have on people’s emotions. In addition, colors like red can impact males’ sexual attraction to females.

  2. tmv5147

    Alright, I gotta write this comment quickly cause I just got hungry. I think that’s such a observant point, you see all of these places such as; Wendy’s, Chick-fil-a, McDonalds, Jimmy Johns with red in their signs. There is definitely some strong science behind it because it works on me. This is also ironic though because last night on one of those snapchat news tabs I came across one with the newly famous Ken Bone on it so I was like “what the hell” and decided to read it at 2am. “How to make yourself more attractive”, the second slide was “have a British accent” so I was kind of like “well damn, theres nothing British about me”, I still continued to read and then came across THE slide, that red sweater, creepy toy story looking guy. The slide was about how wearing the color red signifies wealth, leadership, and is more attractive tho women. 12 hours ago I had no idea how power the color red actually was lol.

  3. Mackenzie French

    This is a very interesting blog! My favorite color actually is red, so I figured I would read your post. I never thought of color being such a factor in our desires and attractiveness to food and objects, but after reading your post I am aware of it. I do think colors have an effect on moods, relating to the lighting and can even correlate with weather. I am taking psych right now and we are learning about the parts of the eye and behavior so it is interesting to read about the correlation between color and desire for food. Here is an article about the psychology of color that you might want to check out!

  4. Hannah Margaret Mears

    I think this post poses a lot of thought because I feel like I do correlate colors with feelings. For example, I like my room to be shades of grays and light blues because I feel like that is what helps me relax and go to sleep. I guess it would kind of replicated a cloudy, rainy day. I also correlate the colors pink and red with love because those are the colors that I think of when it comes to Valentine’s Day. I have heard the theory that colors make you hungry, but I really am not sure if I have ever felt this way. I would love for a scientist to study me so that I could figure that out completely. This post also had me thinking, what if colors could be associated with certain dreams and nightmares? I find it very frustrating when I have a dream and cannot remember it or even a nightmare that I want to tell someone about but cannot think of the whole story that happened. When I researched this I found more of a study on why people remember dreams more than others, not necessarily certain mechanisms that help us remember dreams. This study showed that low recallers of dreams versus high recallers of dreams merely deal with brain waves engaging in more brain activity while awake. I think more studies should be done to see if there are even better ways to remember these sorts of things. Maybe these theory can be translated to something like color and food association.

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