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. . . .
Bazley, Cronqvist, and Mormann’s recent research provides additional evidence that the color red should be used cautiously. The investigators report in an article published in Management Science“thatusing the color red to represent financial data influences individuals’ risk preferences, expectations of future stock returns and trading decisions. The effects are not present in people who are colorblind, and they’re muted in China, where red represents prosperity. Other colors do not generate the same outcomes. . .
Effects on behavior
Pontes and Williams found that seeing the color red influences gambling behavior. They report that “In general, people make more risk averse choices, gambling less and less often when primed with [shown] the color red over other colors. . . . when participants feel lucky or are from Asian Chinese backgrounds the effect is reversed and they take more risks when primed with the color red.”
Rosenthal and colleagues studied how color is experienced in the brain. They report that they used “multivariate analyses of measurements of brain activity obtained with magnetoencephalography to reverse-engineer a geometry of the neural representation of color space. . . . We evaluate the approach by relating the results to universal patterns in color naming. . . . prominent patterns of color naming could be accounted for by the decoding results: the greater precision in naming warm colors compared to cool colors.”
Cobanoglu, of the University of South Florida, reports on work conducted with Ali, Nanu, Shahtakhtinskaya, and Rahman related to mask wearing during the pandemic and optimal mask colors. It may be possible to apply these findings in additional contexts. The researchers learned via a survey administered to 1,800 Americans during which “respondents visited a restaurant or hotel as a guest, doing so virtually. . . . Results show that customers perceive higher service quality in a restaurant or hotel if employees wear masks, regardless of the color or type of mask. . . . Results show . . .
Research published in Current Biologyindicates why we may experience particular colors in certain ways. Rosenthal, Singh, Hermann, Pantazis, and Conway “decoded brain maps of human color perception. . . . colors were presented at two luminance levels – light and dark. . . . study participants had unique patterns of brain activity for each color. With enough data, the researchers could predict . . . what color a volunteer was looking at. . . .
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.
Many universal, some local
Research continues to detail the many, nuanced implications of seeing the color red.