Colors are a part of one’s everyday life and are introduced into one’s life starting at birth. For example, when a baby is born, the baby is showered with gifts and the color of the gifts is determined by his or her gender (e.g., blue for boys and pink for girls). Children often are dressed in colors associated with their gender. Furthermore, as individuals age and as their vocabulary increases, they tend to learn about associations between moods and colors and sometimes make those associations for themselves. For example, “I’m red with rage” or “I’ve got the blues” are common phrases used when describing feelings. Most research about the psychology of colors involves preference or association between colors and moods, and thus, the present study seeks to examine whether manipulating the colors of questionnaires will influence one’s self-reported mood.
An individual’s mood can be described as depicting an individual’s emotional state which is divided into two broad dimensions: positive and negative affect. Positive affect is characterized as the extent to which one experiences pleasurable engagement with the environment (Clark, Watson, & Leeka, 1989). On the other hand, negative affect is characterized as subjective distress and negative emotional states (Clark et al., 1989). Moreover, one who is high in positive affect is low in negative affect, and vice versa. Descriptors of positive affect include: active, alert, attentive, enthusiastic, interested, joyful, etc. Negative affect descriptors include: afraid, nervous, hostile, guilty, sad, etc.
Preferences of Color and Emotional State
Meerum Terwogt and Hoeksma (1995) examined whether individuals’ separate preferenc...
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...hat individuals who had colorful work environments rated their emotional status as higher throughout the year. However, most of the work environments were neutral or subdued, and thus, the authors suggest that a moderate increase of color in work environments will be beneficial for employees’ moods. Weller and Livingston (1988) examined whether the colored paper of the questionnaires affected the participants’ responses to three vignettes describing a murder or rape. The colors used for the questionnaires were pink, blue, and white, and the participants were randomly assigned the colored questionnaires. The authors found that the pink questionnaires had less emotional responses than did the blue questionnaires; thus, suggesting that pink is a calmer color than blue which is contradictory to previously mentioned studies associating blue to relaxation and calmness.
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