Published in the September issue of Mindfood, thanks are due to the author of the article, ‘Psychology of colour’, Rebecca Douglas, for veering away from the usual colour psychology claims found on the internet. Many of these claims are not evidence-based and some are quite dangerous by suggesting that specific colours will prompt specific responses or impact health issues in some way.
While colour has the capacity to influence human response this does not occur on a universal, automatic basis. My PhD examiner, Jim Wise, conducted research for NASA that focused on the actual impact of colour in environmental design and his research team concluded that we are not hard-wired to respond to colour in a uniform, predictable way.
The article was a well-written, balanced article that is definitely worth reading. To find out more about colour psychology, check out these peer-reviewed articles:
O’Connor, Z. (2011). Colour psychology and colour therapy: Caveat emptor. Color Research and Application, 36 (3), 229-234.
Wise BK, Wise JA, Beach LR. (1988). The human factors of color in environmental design: A critical review. NASA Grant No. NCC 2–404. Moffett Field, CA: NASA Ames Research Centre.