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The Psychology of Color

Do specific colors make you feel a certain way? Do you wear a particular color to an event? That is color psychology. Colors are a powerful form of communication that often goes unnoticed. Color can influence mood, promote action, and trigger physiological reactions.

What Is Color Psychology?

Color psychology tells us that colors have meanings and subconsciously create feelings and thoughts when seen. Colors and their meanings may vary, but there is some common realization between individuals when they see a specific color. There is a lack of research on color psychology. Still, marketing teams and designers recently have picked up an interest in exploring this topic because colors can influence moods and buying behavior and evoke feelings. The struggle of color psychology is that everyone reacts differently to color based on their own experiences and culture. For example, wearing black to a funeral to mourn a death or a bride wearing white to show purity is standard in Western countries but the opposite in Eastern countries. Understanding color psychology can be a powerful tool for business and indivuduals.

The Effects of Colors

We see colors everyday but do we understand the use of those colors? What effects do colors have on our mind and bodies? While everyone preceivces colors differently, there are some color effects that have a standard meaning. For example blues are often looked at as calming but can also represent lonelyness and sadness. Reds are often seen as angry but also can be seen as loving. Lets take a deeper dive into difference colors and their meanings.

The color Red

Red is a primary color meaning it is entirely its color. No two colors can come together to create red. Red colors have both physiological and psychological impacts on people, both positive and negative. Red is associated with love, power, passion, confidence, and danger. The most common emotions connected to the color red are love and anger. Individuals often automatically associate red with being deeply in love or brokenhearted. Valentine's day is an example of the connection between love and the color red.

Warning signs or alerts of danger are connected to red, with street signs being the most common connection. When someone gets angry, they become red in the face or start seeing red. People who enjoy the color red are seen as extroverts, enjoy spending time with others, are outgoing, and live life to the fullest. However, they can also are seen as competitive and unapologetic. Too much of the color red can cause irritation or provoke aggression and increase heart rates. After seeing red for a while, individuals can feel on edge and stressed out. Whether or not you enjoy the color red, it has physiological and psychological impacts that you might start to notice now.

The Color Green

Green is a secondary color, meaning two or more other colors mixed to make it up. Green is created by mixing yellow and blue. Green is a prominent color in nature, representing forestial and natural areas. Green is one of the most soothing and relaxing colors for the human eye to see. Green enhances strength, peace, tranquility, growth, and harmony.

Studies have found that green is associated with positive cognitive and therapeutic outcomes, such as aiding in recovering from surgery, and green causes fewer mood disturbances. Green can help improve problem-solving and memory issues and increase positive thinking. People who enjoy the color green veer to the calm and logical traits and have a thirst for understanding and learning. They like to take charge and be in control of their own lives, sometimes seen as stubborn or antisocial. Green lovers are also down-to-earth, peace-making, family-ordinate, intelligent individuals. Green can symbolize sickness, envy, and selfish behavior. Green lovers can be viewed as possessive, immature, and impatient. Next time you are out and about in nature, take a moment to sit back, relax, and enjoy the green scenery.

Color Therapy

Color therapy or chromotherapy is a type of therapy that uses color and light to help treat physical and mental health problems. While color psychology studies how different colors can affect human behaviors, color therapy is based on the unproven fact that colors can impact individuals' energy and health. Everyone has a unique connection or emotion to a color, like wearing your favorite color shirt makes you feel good or seeing a blue lake after a stressful day at work is calming. Color therapy believes that different colors can affect the body differently. Yellows can be mood boosters and help individuals focus on the positive, while blue can influence the direction of depression and pain. Color therapy consists of 2 methods; the first is having the patient stare at a particular color, hoping it evokes the wanted response in the body; the second is reflecting the color onto specific body parts, hoping to elicit a response and heal that area of the body.

Color therapists believe that color enters the body through eyesight and skin. Every color has a frequency and wavelength that affects everyone differently. Warm color tones are used for stimulating effects, and cool tones are used for calming effects. Red is used to facilitate the body and mind while helping circulation. Yellow is used to stimulate nerves and purify the body. Orange is used to heal the lungs and increase energy levels, and blue soothes illnesses and heals pains. Color therapy can help lower stress, boost energy, improve appetite, and help with seasonal depression. Color therapy does not work for everyone, and results will vary from person to person; if this sounds like a type of therapy you may benefit from, look further into it and find a provider near you.

Colors Influence on Consumer Purchasing Behavior

Colors influencing emotions and reactions in people is something marketers have picked up and started to use to their advantage. Individuals buy items on impulse and emotions; colors contribute to this. The color of a car, product, or packaging can increase the shopper's willingness to purchase by 80%. The color of the store display can influence shoppers' desire to buy. Colors can target niche markets; for example, pinks and purples draw in women, while reds and oranges draw in men. Companies can make their brand stand out by picking a unique color or combination of colors. Colors hold a lot of power in the marketing world.

The colors of products represent different feelings that draw the consumer in to buy. White products represent new and clean, while black displays power and luxury. Consumers who purchase blue cars can be seen as safe and reliable, while those who buy red and fast and reckless.

Understanding the connection colors have with consumer buying behaviors will require companies to connect with their consumers and learn more about them. Companies must understand consumers' motivations and preferences to understand their buying choices fully.


In conclusion, colors significantly impact our physiological and psychological behavior and emotions. Whether it's how you feel emotionally or drawn to a product, colors influence our day-to-day activities and mindsets. Being aware of these impacts can help you navigate your emotions and purchases. Next time you see a color and react a certain way, take a minute to think about it before moving forward.

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