In Search of the Intrinsic Emotional Meaning of Color. Genov et al. The Problem. The idea that there is an association between color and emotion seems obvious to common sense. We are often: “Feeling blue” “Green with envy” Having “black moods”
Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.
The idea that there is an association between color and emotion seems obvious to common sense. We are often:
However, despite extensive empirical work for over a century, there is still no consensus that the relationships between color and emotion are more than linguistic convention.
Word meaning interferes with color naming
For example …
The rationale of the study:
Past research on color preference has matched emotion-related words to various colors
A Priori Emotion-Color Matches (Collier, 1996)
Some emotion words (n=7) had been previously associated with more than one color; e.g. the word “calm” had been paired with the colors green and blue. These words appear with an * in Table 1. This overlap explains the number of different words used (23) as opposed to the total number of words in each list (30).
Based on this, we constructed two lists:
Each color appeared 6 times in the list, each time with a compatible emotion word. Each list consisted of a total of 30 words arranged in two columns. The incompatible list was formed by inverting the color sequence and by randomly pairing the colors with incompatible emotion words.
Anticipating the influence of individual differences in “stroopability,” we included two lists from the classic Stroop:
Emotion-color matching task
2. Participant points to a color from a selection of color patches as quickly as possible.
1. Experimenter calls out emotion terms, one at a time.
3. Experimenter makes a note of choice (preference).
Here are the details …
F (1,40)=128.53, p<.001. The mean time for naming the ink colors for the list of X’s was 21.0 seconds, while the mean time for naming the inks of the color words was 37.3 seconds.
An individual compatibility index was computed for each participant by calculating the ratio of the number of times a participant’s choice of color-emotion word pair coincided with the a priori color-word match to the total number of a priori color-word pairs. This index was a measure of the degree to which the participant had been exposed to pairings of emotion-words and colors that were incompatible according to his or her idiosyncratic preferences. The minimum percent of individual match was 9.5% and the maximum was 52.3%.
In addition, participants varied widely in how much they were affected by the classic Stroop manipulation. The difference between the time of naming the XXXX stimuli and the classic Stroop stimuli constituted the index of “Stroop effect.” Across our 42 participants, this index ranged from a negligible
0.5-second difference to a 42-second difference between the two lists.
A statistically comparable analysis was an analysis of covariance in which speed on the compatible and incompatible lists was included as a repeated-measures dependent variable, with group order as an independent variable. The two covariates were the Stroop effect index and of the compatibility of color preferences index.
In this analysis, the mean time for the incompatible list (M=25.4) was significantly longer than for the compatible list (M=22.4), F (1, 38) = 4.40, p < .05, Eta Square = .104.
The exciting research possibilities, which these questions present, should certainly put students of the psychology of color in the pink.