The Manchester Color Wheel

December 19, 2014 @ Biomedcentral

Development of a novel way of identifying color choice and its validation in healthy, anxious and depressed individuals.


We have recently been studying the imagery of irritable bowel syndrome and shown that patients who have an image of their condition respond better to hypnotherapy than those who don’t. Furthermore, the response was even better if the image was in color. This has led us to speculate that how patients relate their illness or mood to color might be an area worthy of further investigation.

Colors are frequently used to describe emotions such as ‘green with envy’, ‘red with rage’ and being ‘in the blues’ when depressed. Although there is a large, often anecdotal, literature on color preferences, as well as the relationship of color to mood and emotion there has been relatively little systematic research on the subject. Furthermore we could not find a single validated questionnaire specifically designed to rapidly identify color preferences in any previous investigations. When instruments have been developed such as the Color Pyramid test, the Rorschach Inkblot test, the Lüscher Color test, the Lowenfeld Mosaic test and the Stroop test they have been designed more to interpret, for instance personality or cognitive processing, rather than allowing a subject to simply select a single color to represent their mood or disease.

It was therefore felt that it would be worth developing a color questionnaire which could present a reasonably wide range of colors in the form of a palette, similar to those used in paint charts, which would suit our purpose but may also have utility in a wide range of other areas of investigation and diagnosis. Validation was undertaken in normal individuals with respect to their ‘drawn to’, ‘favourite’ and ‘mood’ color choice with the purpose of identifying a ‘normal range’ of responses. In addition, anxious and depressed subjects were also studied as it was anticipated that their color choice might be distorted by their mood and this would aid the validation process by assessing discrimination between mood states. Furthermore, it was considered likely that different shades of the same color, for instance pale green and dark green, could have completely different connotations for the individual. Consequently, the positive and negative attributions of the colors in the questionnaire were also assessed as part of the validation process.

Read all the article at Biomedcentral


Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer

25.12.2012 @ HuffingtonPost

Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer soft toy teddy

Rudolph’s nose isn’t red just so that it can light the night sky for Santa — it’s packed with red blood cells so that it doesn’t freeze in the frigid temperatures, according to a scientific take on a classic Christmas tale published in the British Medical Journal.

Green for Happy Workouts

3.12.2012 @ HuffingtonPost

Researchers from the University of Essex in England designed a study to investigate how color affects the mood of those mid-workout. In it, 14 college-age men rode stationary bikes for three five-minute periods while watching a video clip of nature scenes. Each video had a color filter that rendered the image green, then black and white, then red for one of the three five-minute periods. Between each segment, the subjects answered questions about their mood. The researchers found that subjects reported more energy and better mood following the green-hued nature scenes than after black and white and red ones. What’s more, the red-hued screens made participants feel angry.

‘Interference’ Changes Colors At An Atomic Level

16.10.2012 @ HuffingtonPost


The vivid colors appear in the puddles because of interference: the crests and troughs of light waves interfere with each other as they pass through the oil into the water and reflect back up into the air, with some colors (wavelengths) appearing brighter than others.

This is the same effect that applied physics professor Federico Capasso and graduate students Mikhail Kats, Romain Blanchard, and Patrice Genenvet sought to simulate in their research. Only this time, the scientists are working with metals instead of translucent liquids — germanium-coated gold sheets to exact.

Why We Prefer Certain Colors

April 1, 2011 by R. Douglas Fields @ Psychology Today

The current Food and Drug Administration concern that artificial food dyes could increase hyperactivity in children and cause other health hazards raises a simple question:  Why do we put these things in our food?   These artificial chemicals have no food value.  They are not added for the chemical reactions they produce.  They are added to food simply because the chemicals are colorful.  The explanation for this behavior must be rooted in biology or psychology.

Would you drink brown tomato juice?  If given a choice, most likely you would refuse the brown tomato juice in favor of the same stuff doped with an artificial chemical that stains the juice bright red.  Even though you know that the brilliant red color of tomatoes fades with time after caning, and you know the red colored artificial chemical does nothing for taste or nutrition, you can’t help yourself from consuming the adulterated juice instead of the faded colored juice in its natural state.  Is this rational?

MORE @ Psychology Today

Teams In Black Draw More Penalties

April 25, 2012 by Shankar Vedantam @ Capradio

Hockey teams wearing darker-colored jerseys are more likely to be penalized for aggressive fouls than teams wearing white jerseys, according to new research. Teams wearing black jerseys in particular get penalized the most, according to an analysis that may offer a window into the hidden psychological dynamics of the ongoing NHL playoffs.

“Teams that wore black jerseys were penalized more, significantly more, than teams wearing other colored jerseys,” said researcher Gregory Webster of the University of Florida, Gainesville […]


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A Flash of Green Enhances Creativity

March 20, 2012 by Tom Jacobs @ MillerMcCune

New research finds brief exposure to the color green appears to stimulate inventiveness.

According to newly published research, innovative thinking seems to be stimulated by the color green.

A research team led by University of Munich psychologist Stephanie Lichtenfeld reports the color of limes and leaves “has implications beyond aesthetics.” Specifically, a glimpse of green appears to activate “the type of pure, open (mental) processing required to do well on creativity tasks.”

The researchers found this effect with different groups of people, different tests of creativity, and differently designed experiments. Participants exposed to green outperformed those exposed to white, gray, red, and blue, respectively, suggesting there is something unique about the color as a creative catalyst […]

MORE @ MillerMcCune

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