Introduction to Color Psychology

Color Psychology: kaleidoscopic allusion

The bright yellow sun beams rays of warmth upon our skin. The purple cape wrapped around the little girl who is running around makes her feel like a queen of royalty. The blue sky encircles us in serenity while the lavender perennials delight our vision.

Colors envelope our being with sensations of joy, comfort, and sadness. Colors are symbolic of positive and negative effects which are instantaneous and have a profound impact on choices that we make.


The various colors have significant symbolization within Western regions:

~Purple is the color of royalty, luxury, wealth, and sophistication.

~Yellow is the symbol for cheerfulness. Solid, reliable brown is the color of earth.

~Black is known as the color of authority, power, of kings who demand submission.

~White symbolizes innocence and purity, reflects light, and is considered a color for summer.

~Red is the most emotionally intense color because it stimulates a faster heartbeat and breathing; and is also associated with love.

~Blue is the most popular color, a color many people love because it is the color of the sky and the sea, which symbolizes peace, tranquility, and calmness.

Currently, the most popular color symbolizing environmentally friendly issues is green, which symbolizes nature. Colors are important emblems – demonstrators of feelings, seasons, and power.


While colors have significant symbolic meaning, Kendra Van Wagner (2007) adverts most psychologists view color therapy with skepticism. She asserts the supposed affects of color have been exaggerated.

Wagner further emphasizes research has demonstrated in numerous cases that mood-altering effects of color may only be temporary. For example, a schoolhouse painted green may initially cause feelings of calm, but the effect will dissipate after a short period of time.

While various colors symbolize certain aspects, perceptions of color are somewhat subjective, causing affects caused by the use of color, which have universal meaning:

1. Colors on the blue side of the spectrum are known as cool colors and include blue, purple, and green; these colors are often described as calm, but can also bring on feelings of sadness or indifference.

2. Colors in the red area of the color spectrum are known as warm colors and include red, orange, and yellow; these warm colors evoke emotions ranging from feelings of warmth and comfort to feelings of anger and hostility.

Wagner warns, even though some colors within a certain culture may cause certain reactions, people from other cultures and even within the same culture, may react differently to the same colors.


Color psychology is a relatively new or modern type of psychology and not enough research has been conducted; the research that has been undertaken contains inconclusive results. Color consultants, nevertheless, assert colors do have psychological effects.

Important to note is colors as symbols have been substantiated throughout time. Whatever the case, colors of the spectrum are present to be symbolized, loved, appreciated, hated, feared, maybe even forbidden.


Wagner, K. V. (2007). Color Psychology. Psychology. n/a/colorpsych.htm