Color Psychology: Does It Affect How You Feel?

Color Psychology: Does It Affect How You Feel?

Color is a powerful communication tool and can be used to signal action, influence mood, and even influence physiological reactions. Certain colors have been associated with increased blood pressure, increased metabolism, and eyestrain. So how exactly does color work? How is color believed to impact mood and behavior?

Several ancient cultures, including the Egyptians and Chinese, practiced chromotherapy, or the use of colors to heal. Chromotherapy is sometimes referred to as light therapy or colorology.

Colorology is still used today as a holistic or alternative treatment.2 In this treatment:

  • Red is used to stimulate the body and mind and to increase circulation.
  • Yellow is thought to stimulate the nerves and purify the body.
  • Orange is used to heal the lungs and to increase energy levels.
  • Blue is believed to soothe illnesses and treat pain.
  • Indigo shades are thought to alleviate skin problems.

However, existing research has found that color can impact people in a variety of surprising ways:

  • Warm-colored placebo pills were reported as more effective than cool-colored placebo pills in one study.3
  • Blue-colored streetlights can lead to reduced crime according to anecdotal evidence.
  • Red causes people to react with greater speed and force, something that might prove useful during athletic activities according to researchers.4
  • Black uniforms are more likely to receive penalties. Additionally, students were more likely to associate negative qualities with a player wearing a black uniform according to a study that looked at historical data of sports teams and what they were dressed.

By Kendra Cherry, Very Well Mind

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