Kids and Red (01-16-18)

A research team lead by Siu indicates that children and adults have similar associations to the color red.  This research is important because as Siu and colleagues indicate “Color has been identified as a key consideration in ergonomics.  Color conveys messages and is an important element in safety signs, as it provides extra information to users.”  The researchers report that while previous studies have shown that adults link red with “hazard/hazardous,” their research indicates that children 7 to 11 years old associate red with “don’t.” This information means that the color red is a good

Pink, Blue, Girls, Boys (01-04-18)

Children around the world seem to learn to prefer pink if they’re female and blue if they’re male.  Yeung and Wong (both from the University of Hong Kong) conducted a study, published in Sex Roles, that is “the first to show that a boy’s preference for blue and a girl’s liking of pink is not just a Western construct, but is also a phenomenon in urban Asian societies. . . .

Color Names and Color Use (09-21-17)

Gibson and his team studied the how languages communicate color information.  They learned that “Across languages, from the hunter-gatherer Tsimane' people of the Amazon to students in Boston, warm colors are communicated more efficiently than cool colors. This cross-linguistic pattern reflects the color statistics of the world: Objects (what we talk about) are typically warm-colored, and backgrounds are cool-colored. Communicative needs also explain why the number of color terms varies across languages: Cultures vary in how useful color is.

The Power of Color (08-14-17)

Fulcher and Hayes’s work confirms that surface colors send powerful messages.  The duo worked with a group of children from 5 to 10 years old (average age a little over 7) finding that “children took longer to build a feminine object [feminine: cat; masculine: dinosaur] with blue bricks than with pink bricks. In the free-play task, boys built more masculine objects than girls did, regardless of the color of bricks they were given. . . . . These findings suggest that toy color and type can impact how children interact and play with toys.”

Warm Backgrounds, Warm Assessments (08-04-17)

Choi, Chang, Lee, and Chang investigated how color can influence assessments.  They found via “experiments and field surveys in the USA and South Korea. . . .  that an anonymous person against a warm color background (vs. neutral and cold color background) is perceived to be one with warmer personality.”  Also, “nurses’ perception of warmth from a hospital’s ambient color affects their favorable judgment of the hospital and intention to take on an extra role.”

Color Preferences (07-18-17)

Schloss and Palmer investigated why people tend to prefer particular colors.  Their findings align with common sense: “There are well-known and extensive differences in color preferences between individuals . . . there are also within-individual differences from one time to another. . . . they have the same underlying cause: people’s . . . experiences with color-associated objects and events. . . . preference for a given color is determined by the combined valence (liking/disliking) of all objects and events associated with that color.”


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