Colors may be universally associated with certain emotions, a study has found.
Red is pinned to love or anger, blue to sadness or black to death, and similar links appear to exist in other parts of the world.
Even where colors weren’t solidly attributed to a single emotion, nearly all of them were either mostly good or mostly bad regardless of where people lived.
But on a smaller, more detailed scale there were nuances which researchers said they could use to predict which country someone came from.
Scientists from the universities of Auckland, Lausanne in Switzerland and Johannes Gutenber in Mainz, Germany carried out their research on 711 people.
The participants all came from either the UK, Germany, Greece or China, and answered to rate how colors made them feel.
The colors included in the study were white, black, grey, red, yellow, green, blue, orange, purple, pink, brown and turquoise.
They were shown to people in word form rather than images because the study was done online and researchers need to be sure screens were showing the same.
And people ranked how closely they linked them to the following emotions: anger, interest, amusement, pride, joy, pleasure, contentment, admiration, love, relief, compassion, sadness, guilt, regret, shame, disappointment, fear, disgust, contempt or hate.
The researchers, led by Johannes Gutenber University’s Dr Daniel Oberfeld, wrote: ‘Red is associated with both positive and negative emotions while black is unambiguously associated with negative emotions.
’In the current study, red was often associated with love and anger, while black was associated with sadness, hate and fear among other negative emotions.’
Other colors which had strong associations across countries were pink with love, grey with disappointment or sadness and orange with joy or pleasure.
Some other colors, however, had more nuanced associations.
For example, people in Greece were far more likely to associate turquoise with relief and purple with sadness than those in other countries.
While people in the UK and Germany strongly associated yellow with joy, but Greek and Chinese people did not feel the same link.
Almost all the colors, even if they didn’t have a solid link to one emotion, were either overwhelmingly good or bad – with the exception of red, which was linked to both anger and love, and purple and brown, which were neither.
Positive colors were yellow, white, turquoise, pink, orange and green. Negative were grey and black.
Dr Oberfeld’s team added: ‘Particularly strong color-emotion associations were observed for red, black, and pink, and particularly weak associations were observed for brown and purple.
’Across the 240 color–emotion pairs, the strongest association was found between the emotion love and the color term red.
The research was published in the journal Royal Society Open Science.
心理趣闻 Www.YinGYU.La 英’.语·.啦