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In the psychology of color, color preferences are the tendency for an individual or a group to prefer some colors over others, including a favorite color.

Introduction[edit | edit source]

In general, people have a connection with certain colors due to their experiences with objects of those colors. Children with favorite purple stuffed animals will generally prefer the color purple into adulthood. This works in a negative manner as well. In a study with Berkeley students, they found that students with school spirit's favorite colors were blue and gold (their school's colors). They also found that they did not like the colors red and white, which are the colors of their Stanford rivals.[1]

Children's color preferences[edit | edit source]

The age when infants begin showing a preference for color is at about 12 weeks old. Generally, children prefer the colors red/ pink and blue, and cool colors are preferred over warm colors. Purple is the color favored more by girls than by boys. Color perception of children 3–5 years of age is an indicator of their developmental stage. Color preferences tend to change as people age.[2]

Color preferences in different societies[edit | edit source]

Favoritism of colors varies widely. Often societal influences will have a direct impact on what colors we favor and disdain. In the US the color blue often symbolizes sadness, black symbolizes mourning and yellow symbolizes fortune. From a recent study, it was discussed that associative learning is the process where an individual develops color preferences. In different countries, color preference vary. In China, red indicates luck, while in Nigeria and Germany it means the exact opposite.[3] An excerpt from Dr. Isaac H. Godlove describes American views on color.

"In recent years, these troublous times have made some of us chronically blue. Our business was in the red. We were going home with a dark brown taste in the mouth. We were unable to look through the old rose-tinted glasses to see the yellow-golden flood again flowing our way. The purple depression had us contemplating black mourning for dying business, departed bank accounts and profits. But we took a hitch in our belts and carried on, waiting for the rosy dawn, for we lacked the yellow streak. We toned up our product, gave it a more healthy complexion, made it more attractive; put more color spice into our sales appeal." [4]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Sohn, Emily Color Preferences Determined by Experience. Discovery News. URL accessed on 2 October 2011.
  2. Read, M., & Upington, D. (2009). Young Children’s Color Preferences in the Interior Environment. Early Childhood Education Journal, 36(6), 491-496. doi:10.1007/s10643-009-0311-6
  3. Sable, Paul, Akcay, Okan (February 2010). Color: Cross Cultural Marketing Perspectives As To What Governs Our Response To It.. American Society of Business and Behavioral Sciences 17 (1): 950–954.
  4. Godlove, Isaac, E.R.,Laughlin. The Psychology of Color..

Further reading[edit | edit source]

  • Crozier, W. Ray (1999), "The meanings of colour: preferences among hues", Pigment & Resin Technology 28 (1): 6–14, doi:10.1108/03699429910252315 
  • Ellis, Lee; Ficek, Christopher (December 2001), "Color preferences according to gender and sexual orientation", Personality and Individual Differences 31 (8): 1375–1379, doi:10.1016/S0191-8869(00)00231-2 
  • Grossman, Randi; Wisenblit, Joseph Z. Priluck (1999), "What we know about consumers’ color choices", Journal of Marketing Practice: Applied Marketing Science 5 (3): 78–88, doi:10.1108/EUM0000000004565 
  • Madden, Thomas J.; Hewett, Kelly; Roth, Martin S. (2000), "Managing Images in Different Cultures: A Cross-National Study of Color Meanings and Preferences", Journal of International Marketing 8 (4): 90–107, doi:10.1509/jimk. 
  • Morse, Janice M. (March 2008), ""What's your favorite color?" Reporting irrelevant demographics in qualitative research", Qualitative Health Research 18: 299–300, doi:10.1177/1049732307310995 
  • Saito, Miho (February 1996), "Comparative studies on color preference in Japan and other Asian regions, with special emphasis on the preference for white", Color Research & Application 21 (1): 35–49, doi:10.1002/(SICI)1520-6378(199602)21:1<35::AID-COL4>3.0.CO;2-6 
  • Teller, Davida; Civan, Andrea; Bronson-Castain, Kevin (2004), "Infants' spontaneous color preferences are not due to adult-like brightness variations", Visual Neuroscience 21 (3): 397–401, doi:10.1017/S0952523804213360 
  • Zemach, Iris; Chang, Susan; Teller, Davida Y. (May 2007), "Infant color vision: Prediction of infants’ spontaneous color preferences", Vision Research 47 (10): 1368–1381, doi:10.1016/j.visres.2006.09.024, PMID 17118421 

External links[edit | edit source]

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