Steele and Rash evaluated how use of the color red on dishes influences eating. They report that that two previously published “articles hypothesized that exposure to the color red would induce a state of avoidance motivation and reported that snack food consumption was decreased when the food was served on red plates, relative to white and blue plates. The current experiment combined their procedures and approximately tripled their group sizes. Participants were provided with pretzels on red, white, or blue plates in a mock sensory analysis task.
Motoki and teammates studied how coffee shop design influences the experiences of people in them. The investigators report that “Ratings of taste expectations, likelihood of visiting, and emotions were evaluated for each of 50 coffee shop images. . . . The results demonstrate that more reddish and lighter coloured coffee shop images were associated with the expectation that the coffee shop would serve a sweeter coffee, while more greenish and darker coloured coffee shop images were associated with more sour/bitter/tastier coffee expectations as well as a higher likelihood of visiting.”
Information to guide selections
Recently completed research indicates that there may be good reasons we talk about colors in the ways we do. Investigators lead by Twomey have learned that “cultures across the globe differ in their need to communicate about certain colors. Linking almost all languages, however, is an emphasis on communicating about warm colors—reds and yellows—that are known to draw the human eye and that correspond with the colors of ripe fruits in primate diets. . . .
Kim and colleagues investigated how people who are blind think about color. They determined that “congenitally blind and sighted individuals share in-depth understanding of object color. Blind and sighted people share similar intuitions about which objects will have consistent colors, make similar predictions for novel objects, and give similar explanations. Living among people who talk about color is sufficient for color understanding, highlighting the efficiency of linguistic communication as a source of knowledge.. . .
Jeon, Han, and Namstudied how preferences for particular color vary. They report that “designers and marketers often use a mix of colors whose harmony must be taken into consideration, which includes choosing whether to use colors placed next to each other on the color wheel (analogous combination) or to combine colors that are opposite each other (complementary combination). . . .
Surface color options are frequently discussed (and regularly hotly debated). Neuroscientists have extensively investigated how colors viewed influence what people think and do and their research findings can be applied to develop situations in which humans excel, their wellbeing is elevated, and comfort prevails.
Chinazzo and colleagues confirm links previously noted between colors seen and perceived temperature.
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.
Bazley, Cronqvist, and Mormann’s recent research provides additional evidence that the color red should be used cautiously.