Color Psychology Questionnaire Results

It was so enjoyable reading all of your answers on the color psychology questionnaire! Some were surprising (Could orange be peaceful?; Could yellow be boring?), and others were pretty by-the-book, universally relatable (Red is passionate; Blue ranks as the top liked color; Gray is reminiscent of cloudy skies and seasonal depression).
I might use the data collected from this in future blog posts because, though there was not a huge sample of opinions (28 of you participated), there is still a lot that can be analyzed from it that can’t all be covered in this one post. I’d also love to do this again someday on a smaller scale (One color at a time…Sorry if 12 was too much all at once!) and with more participants.

I’m excited to share with you the results, as well as further color psychology research to complement our study (just a little)! Sorry that it took so much time–the last few months have been full of busy packing, unpacking and settling into my family’s new home, figuring out remotely working at home with my dad (and quitting not much later due to heavy anxiety), dealing with lots of sickness, exhaustion and depression, planning the future of this blog, and getting my Poshmark closet relaunched in effort to start making money again. It’s been nothing short of crazy. We’re still getting to know our new town and getting a feel for our new lives.

Jump to Table of Contents

Shhhh…this is a secret jumplink code.

Before we get started:

Color psychology is very personal, can differ culture to culture, and changes throughout time, so (besides this also being a small study) this post is in no way definitive and in this case, what’s true to one may not be to another. The contents of this post are the result of a questionnaire put together for the purpose of engaging the minds of its participants, to get them thinking about their own feelings about colors so they can use them to express themselves through how they dress. I hope you all will think about this for yourselves, too, as you browse this post!

If you didn’t participate in the questionnaire, let me catch you up.

Each color had the same five questions:

  1. Do you like the color ___? (Yes, No, Only Certain Shades)
  2. What are your feelings associated with the color ___? (Positive, Negative, Neutral, or Mixed)
  3. Select all emotions you have experienced with the sight, or thought, of the color ___: (Happiness, Sadness, Depression, Fear, Compassion, Anger, Bitterness, Boredom, Excitement, Amusement, Stress, Peace, Admiration, Disgust, Sensuality, Passion, Playfulness, Confidence, Insecurity, Security, Trust, Suspicion, Mysteriousness, Comfort, Motivation, Laziness, None, Other [please note any other emotions])
  4. What objects or ideas first come to mind when you think about the color ___? (Space for Participant to write)
  5. Anything else you’d like to share about your experience with this color? (Space for Participant to write)

#1 and #2 probably seem like very similar questions, if not the same, at first thought. But i felt it was important to use both–they are definitely not the same! I asked them because you could dislike a color aesthetically, but not have negative feelings about it. Or you could think a color is prettybut perhaps it reminds you of a bad memory, so your associated feelings are really not positive. The answers mostly reflect that this was understood–but i still should have explained it in the questionnaire because the results may be off a bit from varied understandings of what the questions meant. #Semantics.
#3, #4, and #5 all potentially allow a closer look at why the emotional associations are what was chosen by the individual; #3 looks at a set of specific feelings (I tried to think of as many likely possibilities as i could to make it simple for the participant to select what fits, still leaving space for the participant’s own ideas), while #4 and #5 leave it up to the individual to fill us in on any other associations their minds come up with…This can allow deeper understanding.
There are many other questions that would have been useful to ask, like: “What Country are you from?” and “What do you think the meaning of this color is to your society?” (which both would have allowed a look into cultural differences), as well as collecting info on age groups…to mention just a few of many. But, as much as i would have enjoyed getting to look at information like that, i believe it would have added too much complication. Maybe in the future, we could study more of this. For now, i just hope this has been an eye-opening experience for you, which perhaps allowed you to understand yourself on a slightly deeper level.

Shhhh…this is a secret jumplink code.

Categorizing Psychological Associations of Color

“Color associations exist by the score. Man finds in the hues of the spectrum emotional analogies with sounds, shapes and forms, odors, tastes. Color expressions work their way into language, symbolism, tradition, and superstition. The reason is probably that the sensation of color is of a primitive order. Reaction to it, appreciation of it, requires little effort of intellect or imagination. Color conveys moods which attach themselves quite automatically to human feeling. It is part and parcel with the psychic make-up of human beings.” – Faber Birren, functional color expert (Color Psychology and Color Therapy, pg 162)

When it comes to color symbolism (though, i believe this about many things), if we want to more easily understand the “Why” behind associations, i think it’s important to break them into categories. I’ll start broadly with two (making these up…): Direct associations and Indirect associations.

Direct associations are easiest to understand. They relate the color to an object that is in that color. Some examples are: Red associated with blood and the heart, Orange associated with an orange (the fruit…which also is easily associated based on it sharing the same name.), and Black associated with darkness.

Indirect associations have more to do with emotions and ideas. They are highly conceptual and can often be better understood through alike Direct associations. Some examples are: the heart is red and commonly used to symbolize love and passion, therefore Red is associated with love. Oranges are orange and are energizing–so the color Orange can be associated with energy. And in the dark everything looks black, and that darkness and lack of ability to see what’s around you can be scary–so Black often symbolizes fear and lurking evils. (Of course, it isn’t always that easy to understand where the ideas come from, and i’m not suggesting, for instance, that a person’s reasoning for considering orange to be energizing IS because of the fruit–there could be plenty of other symbolic, physiological, or personal reasons–but it’s a clue, especially in instances where the number of similar/same results is high).

I will also be sorting associations that are In Between Direct and Indirect–these will be the results that are conceptual while still being visual, such as holidays (Decorations, for example, have color, but the ideas and days themselves do not) and ideas thought of in colors because they are used globally, such as in signs (Stop, Yield, Construction, Warning etc).

There are different ways color associations could be categorized, but i feel this is best for this post since it separates the abstract from the visual, simplifying and giving clear space to analyze. As complicated as we are as humans, and as complex as our brains are, we really are simple in our ways of trying to understand the world around us–We rely on our tangible senses (Sight, touch, hearing, taste, smell…Especially sight..) and tend to try to make sense of everything else based off of those things. Deep down, we want to understand, and we use what we’ve got in front of us. We have long used color in attempts to make sense of the world, as Faber Birren put it:

“Historical records of color show little interest in the physical nature of color, nor yet in its abstract beauty, but in a symbolism that attempted to resolve the strange workings of creation and give it personal and human meaning.” (Color Psychology and Color Therapy, pg 3. Emphasis added).

We still do this to an extent, despite our thoughts now leaning more to the aesthetic when considering colors. Using the tangible to explain the intangible makes conceptual things easier to talk about. Color is very tangible. I think we also mainly do the same thing in our subconscious creation of color symbolism–we use our understanding of tangible objects to add meaning to color…and then use color to make sense of the less tangible thoughts.

So, i feel that looking at associations as Direct, Indirect, and In Between allows us to more easily get to the point and makes it easier to understand. Besides, the focus of this post is on how colors make us feel (which is abstract and conceptual) and why, and for the purpose of applying it back into fashion (a visual art), so focusing on the visual is in our favor.

Shhhh…this is a secret jumplink code because it didn’t work putting it anywhere else.

Now We Can Begin!

This is going to be a long post, so i recommend navigating first to your favorite and then your least favorite colors. Then you can continue to enjoy reading the results or bookmark to read later on.

Shhhh…this is a secret jumplink code .

Contents:

Before We Begin:
Information About Questionnaire
Categorizing Associations
Color Questionnaire Results:
Red
Orange
Yellow
Green
Blue
Purple
Pink
Black
White
Grey
Beige
Brown
References

Shhhh…this is a secret jumplink code because it didn’t work putting it anywhere else.

Red

A bold and invigorating color. Exciting, playful, full of life. Eliciting a mix of thoughts, including those of danger, romance, and childhood. Ranking second in the world’s favorite colors (according to mass research of H.J. Eysenck and many others), especially liked by extroverts, and long considered to be the most powerful and passionate color–whether passionately romantic, angry, or otherwise exciting; Red, through this questionnaire, has shown itself well liked and a favorite for expressing confidence (though purple came so close in this questionnaire, ranking highest by percentage!).

The associations it has with passion may have to do in part with the way our skin tends to flush red when experiencing strong emotions, as well as the fury of fire and the lifeforce of the cardiovascular system. One participant commented about wearing red: “I feel sexier”, which makes sense as red is known and proven to increase sexual attraction.

Feelings were still rather mixed: being associated with blood, some experience disgust or fear. Used tampons were mentioned as something that comes to mind, and one respondent said, “I don’t really like it. I guess cause blood is red, it instills a type of discomfort in me.”  Another acknowledged that “It seems to be used to describe negative emotions” (They also mentioned frequent usage of the color in fast food).

Additional comments:
“It … shows up in a lot of fast food places.”
“Iove it in clothes”
“It’s one of my favorite colors and one of the few select colors that look good on me smh xD”
“Red shades that start to learn towards orange are off-putting to me.”
“I love red!”
“I’ve always loved this colour, reminds me of the changing leaves in the autumn”
“My family uses the color red for their business. I have grown up with the color red representing everything that my family does.”

Do you like the color red

“Do you like the color red?”:  18 said “Yes”, 3 said “No”, 7 said “Only certain shades”.

What are your feelings associated with the color red

“What are your feelings associated with the color red?”:  9 said “Positive”, 0 said “Negative”, 5 said “Neutral”, said 13 “Mixed”.

Emotions experienced with the color red

Excitement and Passion ranked highest with over 20 selections; Anger, Confidence, Sensuality, and Playfulness next with over 10; and notably: three individuals selected “Other” and wrote in “Love”.
0 selected: Depression, Boredom, Peace, Disgust, Suspicion, Comfort, Laziness, and None.

Associations:

Direct – Food/Drink (8) (“Apples” x3, “Strawberries” x2, “Wine”, Candy: “Cherry lollipops/gummy bears”, “Raspberries”), Fire (5), Blood (4) (“Blood” x2, “Used tampons”, also mentioned in an additional comment), Roses (3), Hearts (3), Stop signs (2), Lipstick (2), Shoes (1), Clowns  (1), Target (1), Children’s toys (1), Playgrounds (1), Primary colours (1).
In Between – Passion (4) (“Passion”, “Anger”, “Excitement”, “s-e-x”), Family (2) (“Family”, “My sister”), Warnings (1), Brightness (1), Valentines Day (1), Christmas (1).
Indirect – Love (2), Cheerfulness (1), Fear (1), Power (1), Warmth (1).

Visual representations of associations:

Return to Table of Contents

Shhhh…this is a secret jumplink code because it didn’t work putting it anywhere else.

Orange

Orange is probably the hardest color to wear–if not just perceived to be the hardest–and it’s trending for Fall 2017! I personally like the surprise. I look forward to hopefully seeing more of it this summer and autumn. Orange is a unique color in fashion. In this questionnaire, one answered that the color itself implies uniqueness. I know that i rarely ever see anybody wearing this color, and when i do, i get the idea that they are confident in who they are and don’t care too much for what others think.

It’s a strongly bold color with a lot of energy, and finding a shade that looks good on you and still feels like orange can be tricky. That might make a good post on its own as fall approaches. One associated orange with “gross colors that looks awful on me”
Another said:
“Although orange is typically a very positive and uplifting color, there are some shades– much like rust orange, which is often a color associated with negative circumstances which encourage fear. (E.g. The color of the skies in the worst of my nightmares.)”.

Another very notable comment was that “It’s just neutral. It gives me a sort of calm and relaxation.”  Orange, being a mixture of the boldness of red and cheerfulness of yellow, typically would be considered the opposite of calm–this answer perplexed me. So, being that i was reading studies and books written by color experts, such as Faber Birren, during the time of seeing these responses, i felt the need to run my own mini-experiment on myself. (Of course, i’m no scientist and could have skewed the results in multiple ways–so, grain of salt with this, please. 😀 This was out of intrigue only.)

They (color scientists) strongly advocate and commonly use colored lights in color -psychology and -physiology tests because it better saturates the subject in the color being tested (Color Psychology and Color Therapy, pg 147), so this is what i did as well with my Ilumi LED light bulbs. Tested each color multiple times, lying down looking at the saturated room for several minutes each and recording my heart rate on my phone. Unfortunately, i don’t have the numbers anymore because my phone deleted them :(, but i was surprised that my heart rate was lowest with orange and i felt most relaxed.
I have to wonder if i was subconsciously creating this feeling of relaxation from the color orange, out of knowing and thinking of the above comment. But, i also have to wonder whether we’ve conditioned ourselves to think orange is powerfully energetic when maybe there’s more to it than that. I mean, come on–sunsets?! Often orange. Very relaxing.

What do you think? And, the participant that commenting on orange being relaxing, if you are still around i’d love to hear more of what you meant! 🙂

Additional Comments:
“The obvious answer is the fruit and honestly that’s about all that comes to mind.”
“I have a very strong aversion to the color orange for highly personal reasons.”
“Everyone loves it … I hate it”
“Beautiful sunsets”

Do you like the color orange

“Do you like the color orange?”:  15 said “Yes”,  6 said “No”,  3 said “Only certain shades”.

What are your feelings associated with the color orange

“What are your feelings associated with the color orange?”:  12 said “Positive”,  1 said “Negative”, 7 said “Neutral”, 4 said “Mixed”.

Emotions experienced with the color orange

Playfulness and Happiness ranked highest, both with 17; Amusement next with 11; Motivation and Excitement with 9; and Bitterness with 5 (the only negative answer with more than 3 in agreement).
0 selected: Fear, Sensuality, Insecurity, and Other.

Associations:

Direct – Foods (15) (“Oranges – the fruit” x10, “Pumpkins” x2, “Food”, “Fruit”, “Creamsicles”), Flowers (3), Medicine (1), Sun (1), Traffic Cones (1).
In Between – Halloween (2), Football (2) (“Football”, “San Francisco Giants”), Fall (1).
Indirect – “My Mother” (1), Laughter (1), Energy (1), Everyone Loves It (1), Nothing (1), Uniqueness (1).

Visual representations of associations:

Return to Table of Contents

Shhhh…this is a secret jumplink code because it didn’t work putting it anywhere else.

Yellow

Yellow, across the globe, is quite possibly known as THE color of happiness. It brings out thoughts of sunshine, smiles (especially thanks to emojis), youthfulness and childhood (yellow is a top favorite color particularly among young children). One participant cheerfully said of the color: “It makes me happy; Bright as the sun! It makes me smile.” Another echoed saying, “It makes me feel happy”. Though, to some, it might be too happy and too playful.

Unusual and notable mention: boredom came up in the choices for associated emotions. I have to ask: if the three of you who voted that yellow is boring have come back and are reading this, could you explain to me why you feel it is?
I understand a person not liking yellow–it and orange actually rank as the least favorite color choices (among adults) according to a large study done by Psychologist, H.J. Eysenck. It’s a powerfully bright color that looses it’s attractiveness to many as we age. One participant said:
“Yellow has always been a rather overwhelming color for me. It’s very typical for it to stress me out when it’s a solid slap of yellow, especially on websites or high-pressure situations.”
And an artist, Wassily Kandinsky, disliked it enough to say of it:
“Yellow is the typically earthly color. It can never have profound meaning. An intermixture of blue makes it a sickly color. It may be paralleled in human nature with madness, not with melancholy or hypochondriacal mania, but rather with violent, raving lunacy.” (Kandinsky, Wassily: The Art of Spiritual Harmony)
–But boredom? I would love to understand.

Additional comments:
“Hate it”
“Jennie [friend] is obsessed with it”
“my favorite color!”

Do you like the color yellow

“Do you like the color yellow?”:  10 said “Yes”,  3 said “No”,  9 said “Only certain shades”.

What are your feelings associated with the color yellow

“What are your feelings associated with the color Yellow?”: 16 said “Positive”, 0 said “Negative”, 3 said “Neutral”, 3 said “Mixed”.

Emotions experienced with the color yellow

Happiness ranked highest with 18; Playfulness following closely behind with 15; Excitement with 13.
0 selected: Sadness, Fear, Anger, Sensuality, Passion, Mysterious, Other, and None.

Associations: 

Direct – Light (13) (“Light”, “Sun” x8, “Sunshine” x3),  Lemons (3), Flowers (5) (“Flowers x3, “Sunflowers” x2), Smiley Face Emojis (1), “My Favorite Chair” (1), Paint on the Wall (1), Big Bird (1), Bananas (1), Dishes (1), Pee (1), the Moon (1), Yoga Mats (1), Picture Frames (1).
In  Between – Smiles (1), Hazards (1), Fall (1), Vintage (1), Baby Showers/nurseries (1),  Summer (1).
Indirect – Friends (2) (“One of My Friends”, also mentioned in another person’s additional comments), Cheerfulness (1), Happiness (1), Childishness/immaturity (1), Freshness (1).

Visual representations of associations:

 Return to Table of Contents

Shhhh…this is a secret jumplink code because it didn’t work putting it anywhere else.

Green

Considered to be one of the top most peaceful colors according to this questionnaire, green brings about thoughts of nature, and life itself, and is both relaxing and lively all at once. One participant stated: “green automatically makes me think of sports, and, of course, the land/ vegetation. … It makes me feel sort of powerful, and confident.. especially in the field.”

Confidence turned out to be a theme among a few other respondents, too, with four choosing it as one of their emotion associations and one beautifully saying:
“With every passing day, I become more confident in my authentic self and comfortable in my own skin. I associate the color green with my eyes and how they are one of many things I really like about my physical self.”

In a lack of confidence in this color, one of my sisters said, “You look really good in green while I look like a potato” (I’ll help you find the right shade…green can be difficult!).

Additional Comments:
“It use to be my favorite color”

Do you like the color green

“Do you like the color green?”: 13 said “Yes”, 0 said “No”, 3 said “Only certain shades”.

What are your feelings associated with the color green

“What are your feelings associated with the color Green?”: 13 said “Positive”, 0 said “Negative”, 2 said “Neutral”, 1 said “Mixed”.

Emotions experienced with the color green

Peace ranked highest with 10 results; Security with 8; Trust, Comfort, and Motivation with 7.
0 selected: Sadness, Depression, Fear, Anger, Bitterness, Stress, Sensuality, Passion, Mysteriousness, and None.

Associations:

Direct – Nature (19) (“Grass” x5, “Trees” x3, “Nature” x2, “Leaves” x2, “Hills”, “Land/ Vegetation”, “Foilage”, “Fruit”, “Plants”, “Seaweed”, “Shamrock”), Animals (3) (“Animals”, Frogs”, Turtles”), Money (2),  My Eyes (2).
In Between – Disgust (From Inside Out) (1), Sports (1), Spring (1).
Indirect – “One of My Friends” (1),  Life (1), Relaxation (1).

Visual representations of associations:

Return to Table of Contents

Shhhh…this is a secret jumplink code because it didn’t work putting it anywhere else.

Blue

Blue is known as the world’s top favorite color (according to mass research of H.J. Eysenck and many others)–And the results of this questionnaire said no different. With 94.1% answering that they like blue (And one person, making the last 5.9%, liking certain shades), no answers of purely negative or neutral feelings associated, and a few excitedly mentioning that it’s their personal favorite, the love for this multifaceted color is clear.

23.5% (four people) directly reported mixed feelings when it comes to blue in the second question, and four more people reported the same indirectly through the other questions. But it appears these mixed feelings are a big part of the admiration. One respondent, who answered that they like blue and experience positive feelings with it, left an additional comment on the last question:
“Blue is probably one of the most diverse of colors when it comes to feelings. For me, it’s primarily relaxing, but can also be a sign [of] happiness, sadness, and even desperation and can bring you to the loneliest of thoughts.”
Another participant echoed the thought similarly, saying: “This is my favorite color because of how many different emotions it can give you”.

Additional comments:
“To me, it’s like the stronger version of orange in terms of relaxation/ comfort. ”
“YAYYAAYAYAY I love this color sm”
“It’s one of my favorites!”

Do you like the color blue

“Do you like the color blue?”: 16 said “Yes”, 0 said “No”, 1 said “Only certain shades”.

What are your feelings associated with the color blue

“What are your feelings associated with the color blue?”: 13 said “Positive”, 0 said “Negative”, 0 said “Neutral”, 4 said “Mixed”.

Emotions experienced with the color blue

Peace ranked highest with 14; Comfort with 13; Happiness with 11; Compassion and Trust with 8; And, notably, Sadness with 6.
0 selected: Fear, Anger, Disgust, Suspicion, and None.

Associations:

Direct – Water (9) (“Water” x3, “Ocean” x6), Sky (7), Blueberries (1),”My Scrubs” (1), Clean logos (1), “My blue bra” (1), Ice (1), Crayons (1), Flowers (1), “Literally my entire apartment” (1).
In Between –
Indirect – “My mom” (1), Modern (1), Relaxation (1), Soothing (1), Swimming (1).

Visual representations of associations:

Return to Table of Contents

Shhhh…this is a secret jumplink code because it didn’t work putting it anywhere else.

Purple

The color that was anciently known for richness and royalty still holds these same associations in our minds today. It may no longer be the sure sign of societal power since it (along with so many other colored dyes) has become so accessible–but it still has a captivating power to it. One participant commented:
“It just speaks power to me; I don’ mean that when I see someone dressed in purple, I think that they’re powerful. Actually, I don’t, at all…but the color itself speaks power to me.”

It’s a color of passion, confidence, and individuality to many. One respondent attributes this to her favorite musical artist growing up:
“Prince.. first, foremost, and always Prince! … A child of the 80s, Prince was, is, and always will be my favorite musical artist. This is about all I can think about when I see or hear mention of the color purple. Growing up Prince felt so relate-able to me and was a ‘hero’ of sorts; a person who taught me that it’s ok to be who I am and not who the world expects me to be.”

Additional Comments:
“[My friend] Katja used to legit obsessed with purple”

Do you like the color purple

“Do you like the color purple?”:  11 said “Yes”, 0 said “No”, 3 said “Only certain shades”.

What are your feelings associated with the color purple

“What are your feelings associated with the color purple?”: 10 said “Positive”, 0 said “Negative”, 1 said “Neutral”, 3 said “Mixed”.

Emotions experienced with the color purple

Passion ranked highest with 9; Sensuality close behind with 8; Excitement and Confidence with 7; Happiness and Playfulness with 6.
0 selected: Depression, Anger, Boredom, Disgust, Insecurity, and Laziness.

Associations:

Direct – Flowers (3) (“Flowers”, “Violets”, “Lavender”), Grapes (1), Veggies (1), Dragons (1), Dresses (1), Favorite Color (1), Lights (1).
In Between – Royalty (5), Ball (1), The Movie (the Color Purple) (1),  Prince (musician) (1).
Indirect – Power (3) (“Power”, “Dominance”, “Strength”), A friend (1) (“Katja”), Richness (1).

Visual representations of associations:

Return to Table of Contents 

Shhhh…this is a secret jumplink code because it didn’t work putting it anywhere else.

Pink

The only color in this questionnaire that was considered to have a gender: pink came out to be decidedly feminine. Whether this is a positive or negative thing turned out to be personal, controversial, and definitely up for discussion.

In appreciation of pink’s feminine qualities, one said “It’s my favorite color; it makes me happy, and it makes me feel feminine.”, and another proclaimed “A girly-girl at heart, pink will always bring a smile to my face and my heart.”
But, as i said, the results were controversial. One (who does not like pink, experiences disgust over it, and associates it with Gender roles and Pepto Bismol) put it this way: “Pink is the color pushed on girls and I detest that!”. Three separate individuals mentioned the negative emotions of Boredom, Disgust, Weakness (Custom choice typed in “Other”), and Laziness–though very personal, with only one vote each, it’s not to be ignored. Does pink hold cookie-cutter ideas of what it means to be a woman, and only a woman?

If i can give my two-cents: i’d say pink is up for a revolution. Who says pink should be a girls-only color? Did you know pink used to be a very acceptable color used for baby boys, particularly prior to 20th-century consumerism turning it into a classic for females of all ages? Pink is both energetic and sweet. Powerful and gentle. In recent months, it has been used as a political symbol in protest for women’s rights. We’ve also seen more acceptance and promotion of males wearing it once again (#ToughGuysWearPink, #MenWearPink, #RealMenWearPink). There’s no need for it to be used to push gender roles. We can change that. It’s changed before. There’s also still plenty of room for its “Feminine” symbolism of sweetness to remain, whether we consider that particularly female or not.

What are your thoughts?

Additional Comments:
“Cute”
“I love Pink, and the brand lol”
“Love it! ”
“It’s my favorite”

Do you like the color pink

“Do you like the color pink?”: 6 said “Yes”, 1 said “No”, 7 said “Only certain shades”.

What are your feelings associated with the color pink

“What are your feelings associated with the color pink?”: 9 said “Positive”, 0 said “Negative”, 4 said “Neutral”, 1 said “Mixed”.

Emotions experienced with the color pink

Playfulness ranked highest with 9; Peace with 7; Happiness with 6; Confidence with 5; Compassion, Security, and Comfort with 4; and, notably, one wrote in “Weakness”.
0 selected: Sadness, Depression, Fear, Anger, Bitterness, Stress, Insecurity, Suspicion, Mysteriousness

Associations:

Direct – Candy (2) (“Candy”, “Cotton Candy”), Pigs (2), Pepto Bismol (1), Sunsets (1).
In Between – Gender Roles (7) (“Girliness” x2, “Being a Girly – Girl”, “Pre-Teen Girls”, “Girl Clothes”, “Femininity”, “Gender Roles”), Babies (3) (“Babies” x2, “Baby Items”), Barbie (1), Ballet (1), Valentines Day (1), Pretty in Pink (1), “Strawberries (even Though They’re Red Lol)” (1).
Indirect – Boldness (“Bold … Hot Pink”) (1), Sense of Weakness (1), Love (1).

Visual representations of associations:

Return to Table of Contents

Shhhh…this is a secret jumplink code because it didn’t work putting it anywhere else.

Black

With 15 mentions of style or fashion items, the questionnaire results point to black being considered the most fashionable color. It’s sleek and it’s versatile.
*See below, in the “Additional Comments” section? Everybody mentioned it!

Though, it also commonly brings about fearful, sad, and angry thoughts. Nightmares, evil, and loneliness are just a few negative associations mentioned. Experienced emotions came out to be excessively negative, with all of the negative emotions present in the final results, and an overwhelming agreement in the association of emotions such as Depression, Fear, and Insecurity (which ranked in the top 5 experienced emotions).

One participant beautifully, and painfully, stated: “It makes me angry cause it reminds me of the racism that exists; but it makes me happy because of the great progress by black people, as well as Africans, over the years. …”

Additional Comments:
“… I also love it because black goes with anything when it comes to fashion ;).”
“I use black as a secondary or emphasis to my clothing.”
“I like wearing black leggings like every other basic girl.”
“It’s my favorite… there [is] nowhere in life you can go wrong with black. Which color car should I buy?- Black. What color should I paint that accent wall?-Black. What color should I wear today?-Black. The list goes on an on Black is a never-fail-me color.”
“I love to wear it.”

Do you like the color black

“Do you like the color black?”: 13 said “Yes”, 1 said “No”, 0 said “Only certain shades”.

What are your feelings associated with the color black

“What are your feelings associated with the color black?”: 5 said “Positive”, 2 said “Negative”, 2 said “Neutral”, 5 said “Mixed”.

Emotions experienced with the color black

Mysteriousness ranked highest with 12 answers; Depression and Fear with 8; Confidence with 6; and Insecurity with 5.
0 selected: Compassion, Amusement, Playfulness, and None.

Associations:

Direct – Fashion (5) (“Clothing”, “Clothes”, “Fashion”, “Black Boots”, “Cloak”), Night (3), Darkness (2), Electronics (1), “My Dog” (1), Bats (1), Shadows (1), Space (1).
In Between – Being African (1), Nightmares (1), Funerals (1).
Indirect – Sophistication (3) (“Sophistication”, “Elegance”, “Class”), Minimalism (2)(“Minimalism”, “Simplicity”), Evil (1),”My Heart” (1), Scary (1), Strength (1), Being Lost (1), Helplessness (1), Loneliness (1).

Visual representations of associations:

Return to Table of Contents

Shhhh…this is a secret jumplink code because it didn’t work putting it anywhere else.

White

Being another neutral, white had similar comments as black about it’s versatility and ability to go with a wide variety of colors. One participant stated that “It can go with really anything, no matter if the color is dark or light”.

Peace topped the list of experienced emotions and soft, clean things most easily came to mind. But many reported that they find it boring. One said: “Even though I think of light and comfort with this color it can also be very plain and unexciting”, and boredom ranked as the second most experienced emotion, chosen by 5.

Additional Comments:
“White confuses me; it makes me feel mixed emotions: happy/sad, confident/worried, etc.”
“I just don’t have much at all to say about white; it’s just so boring to me.”

Do you like the color white

“Do you like the color white?”: 8 said “Yes”, 5 said “No”, 0 said “Only certain shades”.

What are your feelings associated with the color white

“What are your feelings associated with the color white?”: 5 said “Positive”, 1 said “Negative”, 3 said “Neutral”, 4 said “Mixed”.

Emotions experienced with the color white

Peace ranked highest with 8; Boredom with 5; Happiness, Security, and Trust with 4.
0 selected: Depression, Fear, Anger, Amusement, Disgust, Sensuality, Suspicion, Laziness, and None.

Associations:

Direct – Clouds (3), Snow (3),  Cotton (1), Aprons (1), Cotton Balls (1).
In Between – Angels (2), Death (1), Yogurt (1), Light (1), White Roses (1), White Chocolate (1), Whipped Cream (1).
Indirect – Purity (3) (“Purity” x2, “Clean”), Emptiness (2) (“Emptiness”, “Blankness”), Boredom (1), Deadlines (1), Isolation (1).

Visual representations of associations:

Return to Table of Contents

Shhhh…this is a secret jumplink code because it didn’t work putting it anywhere else.

Grey/Gray

Rain, rain, rain. Stormy weather and gloomy days were the themes of nearly every answer for this color. Depression topped the list of experienced emotions with 66.7% (eight people) choosing it, and Sadness, Boredom, and Stress followed.

Though, all additional comments mentioned its aesthetic and fashionable appeal. One respondent stated that “If black doesn’t serve you, Gray will!” and another contemplated various shades, saying:
“The color grey is extremely varied for me. I feel as though the darker it is, the more I like it. Charcoal grey is one of my favorite colors for how relaxing it is to look at. Medium grey stresses me out. However, the lightest shades of grey do break this. If it’s practically off-white, it’s not stressful at all.”

One participant had an interesting observation about sportswear, which caused her to associate the color grey with motivation: “Sporty attire [comes to her mind]; because a number of sporting outfits are grey.”

Do you like the color grey

“Do you like the color grey?”: 4 said “Yes”, 3 said “No”, 5 said “Only certain shades”.

What are your feelings associated with the color grey

“What are your feelings associated with the color grey?”: 1 said “Positive”, 3 said “Negative”, 7 said “Neutral”, 1 said “Mixed”.

Emotions experienced with the color grey

0 selected: Compassion, Anger, Excitement, Admiration, Disgust, Sensuality, Passion, Playfulness, Trust, Comfort, and None.

Associations:

Direct – Cloudy Skies (4) (“Cloudy Skies” x2, “Clouds”, “Overcast Days”), Rain (3) (“Rain” x2, “Rainy Days”), Metal Objects (1), Sporty Attire (1).
In Between – Seasonal Depression (2) (“Seasonal Depression”, “Gloomy Days”).
Indirect – Low Energy (1), Balance (1), Loneliness (1), Sadness (1), Versatility (1).

Visual representations of associations:

Bonus question -“Grey” or “Gray”?: Which is the correct spelling? Many people have wondered this. Personally, i’ve found myself switching between usage of both, without a thought. Opinions were split in this questionnaire with the top choice taking up 2/3rds. 33.3% (4 people) chose “Gray”, 66.7% (8 people) chose “Grey”. Both spellings are correct. “Grey” is most commonly accepted in British English, while “Gray” is the common American English spelling. But almost as long as the variation has existed, and especially thanks to globalization and the internet connecting people all over the world, these lines have been blurred and either spelling might be used, no matter where you live. It’s a matter of preference.
A few may argue, though, that “Gray” is the scale of value between black and white, and “Grey” leans more towards silver.

Return to Table of Contents

Shhhh…this is a secret jumplink code because it didn’t work putting it anywhere else.

Beige

I want to try to remain as objective and unbiased as possible when writing things like this (things that go over a variety of perspectives). But honestly, seeing the results for this color made me a little sad. Call me crazy, but i love beige! Maybe it’s in part because i look like i’m dying when i wear white, so beige is my alternative–but i really love it. Sweedish interior design blogger, Maria Ljungström, thinks it’s a beautiful color too. Of course, i’m being silly and biased and passionate. I truly think the honesty in the answers is great!–I understand it, and i certainly wouldn’t ask for different:

“It just freaks me out, to be honest. There are very few things I like that are this color. Certain articles of clothing are okay.”
– Participant who only likes certain shades of beige, experiences negative emotions (Bitterness, Stress, Disgust) with it, and associates it with “Old furniture, imperfection, [and] pasta.”

“Just there; not happy/sad, just there; calm/ alright/ okay … Uhh it doesn’t really bring out strong feelings for me; it’s just..it just makes me think.. ‘okay'”
– Participant who likes it and experiences neutral (calm) emotions with it.

“I’m so much more attracted to highly saturated, rich tones.”
– Participant who does not like it, experiences negative emotions (Boredom) with it, and associates it with “Blah”.

After reading these, though, i felt the need to dedicate a Pinterest board to clothing in this color i find so appealing:

What i love about beige: It’s reminiscent, gentle, humble, care-free, and immaterial. It remembers the beauty of the past and exalts the inner-self over the outer-self. It doesn’t try too hard. That’s how i feel about it.

My favorite response was from an individual who said that beige reminds them of Cake and that they experience positive emotions of Compassion and Comfort.

Do you like the color beige

“Do you like the color beige?”: 3 said “Yes”, 3 said “No”, 4 said “Only certain shades”.

What are your feelings associated with the color beige

“What are your feelings associated with the color beige?”: 2 said “Positive”, 2 said “Negative”, 5 said “Neutral”, 1 said “Mixed”.

Emotions experienced with the color beige

Boredom ranked highest with 6; then Comfort with 3.
0 selected: Sadness, Fear, Anger, Excitement, Sensuality, Passion, Playfulness, Trust, Suspicion, Mysteriousness, Motivation, and None.

Associations:

Direct – Eggs (1), Cute Shoes (1), Cake (1), Little Toy Army Men (1), Pasta (1), “Your Blanket” (1) (As in Alissa’s blanket–result from my younger sister), Old Furniture (1).
In Between – Neutral (1), Muted (1).
Indirect – Boring (2) (“Boring”, “Blah”),  Just There (1),  Imperfection (1).

Visual representations of associations:

Return to Table of Contents

Shhhh…this is a secret jumplink code because it didn’t work putting it anywhere else.

Brown

The color of chocolate, brownies, wildlife…
But also the color of mud and poop.

Brown had mixed results, but mostly leaned toward being highly negative, with boredom as the top result. (I honestly think that this was largely attributed to the questionnaire getting too long…Most of the respondents checked out before this point. All of you who patiently stayed–I apologize for how tiring this must have been, and i promise it was a learning experience that i’ll apply in the future: *No more crazy long questionnaires, all at once! I hope you enjoyed the majority of it and learned something about yourself). It’s understandably unappealing if filth and feces are what first come to mind at the thought of brown. But there are some beautiful things in brown, and it can be a great color to wear as well.

A participant who experiences pride over the thought of brown beautifully said, “It makes me happy because it makes me think of wildlife; which is the pride of Africa.”
And another, who likes brown, is reminded of both her skin and chocolate. I like this healthy pride!

Do you like the color brown

“Do you like the color brown?”: 1 said “Yes”, 7 said “No”, 4 said “Only certain shades”.

What are your feelings associated with the color brown

“What are your feelings associated with the color brown?”: 2 said “Positive”, 4 said “Negative”, 5 said “Neutral”, 1 said “Mixed”.

Emotions experienced with the color brown

Boredom ranked highest with 7; Laziness and None with 3; Bitterness with 2.
0 selected: Happiness, Fear, Compassion, Anger, Excitement, Amusement, Stress, Admiration, Sensuality, Passion, Playfulness, Confidence, Insecurity, Trust, Mysteriousness, and Motivation.

Associations:

Direct – Dirt (3) (“Dirt”, “Dirty”, “Mud”), Poop (2) (“Poop”, “Feces”), Chocolate (2), Brownies (2), Bears (1), Doorways (1), Trees (1), Wildlife (1), Wood (1), “My Skin” (1), Hair (1).
In Between – Africa (1), Fall (1), Filth (1), Safaris (1).
Indirect – Consistency (1).

Visual representations of associations:

Return to Table of Contents

Shhhh…this is a secret jumplink code because it didn’t work putting it anywhere else.

References and Additional Reading:

All quotes from “Participants” or “Respondents” (interchangeable meaning), as well as answers shown in charts, come from the thoughts and opinions submitted by readers to my Color Psychology Questionnaires.

Albee, Sarah: “The Color Purple.” Blog post. Sarah Albee Books. April 05, 2012.

Andrews, Evan: “Why Is Purple Considered the Color of Royalty?” Blog post. History.com. A&E Television Networks. July 15, 2015.

Archer, Sarah: “A Western Cultural History of Pink, from Madame De Pompadour to Pussy Hats.” Blog post. Hyperallergic. February 19, 2017.

Birren, Faber: “Color Psychology and Color Therapy”.

Centeno, Antonio: “5 Reasons All Men Should Wear Pink | The Real Masculine Color.” Blog post. Real Men Real Style. November 28, 2016.

Coscarelli, Alyssa: “The Fashion Week Trends That Will Show Up In Fast-Fashion.” Page 46. Blog post. Refinery29. February 28, 2017.

Eysenck, H.J.: “A Critical and Experimental Study of Colour Preferences”. American Journal of Psychology. July, 1941.

Hammond, Claudia: “Future – The ‘Pink vs Blue’ Gender Myth.” Online magazine. BBC. November 18, 2014.

Kandinsky, Wassily: “The Art of Spiritual Harmony”.

Ljungström, Maria: “Beige Färg = Boring ??? / BEIGE = BORING???” Blog post. Inredningsvis. December 29, 2015.

Maglaty, Jeanne: “When Did Girls Start Wearing Pink?” Online magazine. Smithsonian.com. Smithsonian Institution, 07 Apr. 2011.

McKay, Brett and Kate: “Can Men Wear Pink?” Blog post. The Art of Manliness. July 26, 2016.

Nicholson, George: “How To Wear Pink for Men.” Blog Post. The Idle Man. May 09, 2017.

Shpancer, Noam: “Red Alert: Science Discovers The Color of Sexual Attraction.” Online magazine. Psychology Today. Sussex Publishers. January 10, 2013.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Color Psychology Questionnaire Results

    1. Thank you Maria!
      And totally. I think color can be such an interesting topic, because at first glance we tend to just appreciate the beauty, though it can be so deep in how it affects us.

      You write mostly about interior design, right? I think there’s so much that can be learned from design in general, and learning from another form of it can be creatively eye-opening. So, i’m looking forward to checking out more of your blog!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s