In Honor of Spring: Blue Birds! (04-28-21)

Researchers have assessed bird photos, looking for clues about preferred images and report that people prefer birds that are blue, just as they prefer blue in other contexts.  Thommes and Hayn-Leichsenring share that they “collected over 20,000 photos of birds from the photo-sharing platform Instagram with their corresponding liking data. . . . The colors of the depicted bird . . . significantly affected the liking behavior of the online community, replicating and generalizing previously found human color preferences. . . . There is a solid body of research on human color preferences indicating that blueish objects are generally preferred over objects with yellowish hues. . . . This has been explained by ecological valence, for example, blue being linked to good things such as clear sky and clean water, whereas potentially harmful objects such as rotten food are often yellow (Palmer & Schloss, 2020). . . . results closely correspond with . . . color preferences that were previously reported for colored squares, but also for objects like furniture and clothing (Schloss et al., 2013).”    

Katja Thommes and Gregor Hayn-Leichsenring.  2021. “What Instagram Can Teach Us About Bird Photography: The Most Photogenic Bird and Color Preferences.”  i-Perception, vol. 12, no. 2, https://doi.org/10.1177/20416695211003585