Seeing Colors, Reading Their Names, Differences? (10-02-20)

Jonauskaite, Parraga, Quiblier, and Mohr assessed how consistent people’s emotional associations are when they read the name of colors and when they see patches of the same colors.  The team found “high similarity in the pattern of associations of specific emotion concepts with terms and patches . . . for all colours except purple. . . . We also observed differences for black, which is associated with more negative emotions and of higher intensity when presented as a term than a patch. . . . results from studies on colour–emotion relationships using colour terms or patches should be largely comparable.”  This finding is useful, for example, to designers and researchers developing data collection tools.   The researchers studied responses to red, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, blue, purple, pink, brown, white, gray, and black. Color patches used were “the best exemplars of each colour category. . . . which are largely universally recognized.”  Also,“Pinkwhitegreenorangeblueyellow, and turquoise were all significantly biased towards positive [emotional] associations . . . while blackgrey, and brown . . . were significantly biased towards negative associations.”  For “Red . . . and purple . . . . . . the same number of positive and negative emotion concepts was on average associated with these colours.”  The researchers also report that Labrecque and Milne (2012), interestingly, link viewed black with the ideas of sophistication and elegance.

Domicele Jonauskaite, C. Parraga, Michael Quiblier, and Christine Mohr. 2020.  “Feeling Blue or Seeing Red?  Similar Patterns of Emotion Associations with Colour Patches and Colour Terms.”  I-Perception, vol. 11, no. 1, https://doi.org/10.1177/2041669520902484