Introduction to Color Psychology

Colors are one of the most natural of elements that surround the human being in their everyday life, and studies show that the effect of the different colors on mood and perception is strongly linked with attitude and the manner in which we perceive things. For many years, the idea that color affects us has been used worldwide, although the symbolism of color to different races has slight variations that are influenced by lifestyle. Taking the colors that have general worldwide unification of meaning, what designers began to understand was the concept that different colors were accepted by people in a very uniform way.

To explain the concept to someone who has never thought of psychology when it comes to color, taking a look around their home, or at advertisements in magazines may reveal that not only does it touch their lives, but it also has a great impact upon everyday life and the way in which we cope with the mental aspects of acceptance. For example, the color that spells innocence and purity, cleanliness and even sterility would be a white. Look at how this is used in society, and it isn’t hard to see how our judgment of our surroundings is manipulated into beliefs by the colors we are presented with.

White is used in doctor’s coats. We want an image of sterility or cleanliness. Imagine now if all doctors were to dress in red. It’s hardly imaginable is it ? Behind our recognition patterns of colors lies an acceptance of influences upon our lives, and although this seems complex, it doesn’t have to be and can be used to enhance your life enormously, given the choice that every human being has in their purchase of clothing, decoration of their home, etc. Color is extremely powerful and the effect upon the mind startling.

Over history, humans have delved into the world of color and used it to enhance their lives or to make a bold statement. Even going back to the days of the Knights in shining armor, we still hear the association of black with evil, and white with good. It’s hardly surprising that the psychology of color has been developed to such an extent that humans are now able to manipulate the use of color to create atmosphere conducive with certain behavior patterns.

Studies have been undertaken about the usefulness of colors within a room to the production of an atmosphere conducive to productive working environments, and here the color blue has been proven to provide a more productive atmosphere and to generate energy, though darker blues produce a more oppressive atmosphere. Conversely, the color green with it’s closeness to nature has been found to create a relaxing atmosphere, and here many waiting rooms within hospitals have been colored green for the specific purpose of relaxing people that find themselves in a situation of stress.

Yellow and orange increase energy, and are colors that lift a whole room into warmth and an ambiance that speeds up the metabolism, though research has shown that the subtlety of the color matters, and to make a private study of the truth behind the effects of colors such as yellow, it isn’t hard to see how a harsh bright yellow may actually prove too stimulating for concentration. Thus, psychology not only takes colors, but it goes a step further to define the different shades of colors and the effect that they have on the human being.

Throughout the spectrum of color, if a human being were to close their eyes and imagine a color or shade, the images that the color would conjure up would be fairly universal. Regal images of colors like purples and golds, dark frightening images of blacks and grays and the magical forest of nature can be depicted from those colors within the green range, showing that the perception of the human mind is indeed strong and does influence thought patterns and perception.

It’s a wonderful world that we live in and just as sound therapy takes the listener through all the highs and lows of different aspects of the sense of sound, color therapy takes the seeing person through the spectrum of emotions created by color. Imagine blue skies and the lift that it gives the beholder is astounding when compared with gray skies filled with rain. It isn’t just the weather. The color plays a vital part in our perceptions of life. Imagine golden sands and blue sea lapping against the shores and the image that it creates is one of harmony.

Color psychology employed within the home can create an ambiance to suit the mood for each room and the required activity to be performed within that space. It’s all around us, and it doesn’t take a professional to understand how color affects mood, health, welfare, energy levels and stress within a world that presents so many aspects of outside influence to the landscape of the human mind. Color is powerful, and used to it’s best advantage can enhance lifestyle and frame of mind.