COLOR EMOTION PAIRINGS AND ASSOCIATIONS
Validation and Effective Evidence-Based Tools and Practices
Understanding that today’s technology has a strong IQ (cognitive intelligence), but little to no EQ (emotional intelligence), Assessdo is an evaluator, designed to translate human emotions in a generated complex state where humans come up with scenarios that can be evaluated through the complex implications and trade offs of the user’s emotions. While the effectiveness of all humans stems from emotional understanding, Assessdo’s tools generate understanding of how a user feels in order to assess deeper complex emotions of what evaluators may not know about combined emotions.
Based on the study from neurosciencenews.com by Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz, color emotion may be a universal phenomenon as people all over the world associate colors with emotions. In some instances, people from different parts of the world often associate the same color with the same emotions. According to Dr. Daniel Oberfeld-Twistel (a member of the participating team at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), it is currently difficult to say exactly what the causes for global similarities and differences in colors are. “There is a range of possible influencing factors: language, culture, religion, climate, the history of human development, the human perceptual system.”
There is scientific evidence that supports the idea of identifying and verbalizing complex generated emotions. Such scientific evidence exists on a color wheel designed by psychologist Robert Plutchik. Emotional basis allows for growth and development and is not a questionnaire, but rather a profile of an individual being built on a series of physiological reactions to events.
Combine data driven capabilities with human perspective and we have a much more diverse analysis of thoughts and emotions. This combination of technology and human input is much more powerful than the sum of its parts. Collecting data of human input means we need a technology that can be forced through a continuum of emotional observation. A theory that emotions occur as a result of physiological reactions to events (also known as the James-Lange theory), Assessdos psychometric tools were designed as a forward thinking platform to gather an understanding of user thoughts without allowing the examiner an unconscious bias towards next steps.
RESEARCH STUDY By: Mariah Palmer, Lindenwood University
Sensory stimuli, including color, may play a role in corresponding mood (Wells, 1910). Kaya and Epps (2004) showed participants attribute and associate colors with positive and negative emotions. Compared to previous research, in the present study, participants’ moods were measured while they were exposed to a color. The primary focus of the current research was to see if a color stimulus would influence mood. Secondarily I also studied mood change among two groups: right-hemispheric and left-hemispheric dominant participants. I wanted to find out whether right-brained participants would experience more change in their mood than the leftbrained participants. According to Matikas, Petras, Skusevich, and Darius (2010), the righthemisphere specializes in perception. There is not a great deal of research about the ways the different hemispheres process color; therefore, it is important to take a closer look into this process with the current research. An online survey was utilized, and participants were randomly assigned a text color. The questions on the survey helped to determine the hemisphere of the brain that the participant uses most readily. Additionally, participants were surveyed on mood in the beginning and at the end of the survey. The results of this study were that there was no significant impact of colors on mood. Knowing this, more research should be pursued so look for a connection.
According to Wells (1910), sensory stimuli may play a role in corresponding mood. One type of sensory stimuli that we encounter is color. Color is most often defined by three characteristics of saturation, hue, and light (Dresp-Langley & Langley, 2010). There are a multitude of explanations as to why color has the ability to influence mood. One of those reasons is that each person has his or her own color preferences (Kaya & Epps, 2004; Taylor, Clifford, & Franklin, 2013). An extension of that idea is that there are color preferences, but they are more focused on a universal level. Color also has the ability to influence corresponding mood by the associations we have with the specific color stimuli and one way that this is argued is through the theory of ecological variance. There are also theories that show color can evoke physiologically arousing responses in a person, which may also be an explanation for corresponding emotion or mood (Pressly & Heesacker, 2001). Furthermore, there are cerebral hemispheric differences in humans that may also be a significant piece of information in understanding how sensory stimuli influences mood. Understanding the complex process that is color perception is necessary, as color is a large portion of the daily lives of humans. The present study looked at these cerebral differences and hypothesized that they do impact the mood associated with various color stimuli.
There is a great deal of evidence that support that right hemispheric superiority over emotional control over the left hemisphere. Borod, Koff, Lorch, Nicholas, and Welkowitz. (1988) researched the differences in emotional expression of participants with right cerebral hemisphere damage and found results that are in accordance with previous research. This study compared results of those with right hemisphere damage, those with left hemispheric damage, and those with no damage in the ways that they expressed emotions. In order to test participants, they either asked them to show an emotion or showed them a stimulus to evoke emotion. One thing that they found was that participants with damage to the right cerebral hemisphere scored lower in both responsivity and accuracy compared to the other two groups of participants (Borod et al., 1988). Knowing these data, it is safe to assume that some type of emotional processing happens through the right cerebral hemisphere.
The Present Study
Three pieces of critical information can be gathered from previous research: that color can evoke emotion, that color is processed more efficiently in the right hemisphere, and that there is an emotional functioning of the right hemisphere. Upon gathering this information, the next research question at hand is, if participants are exposed to even a small portion of a color stimulus (i.e., text on a screen), will they have a mood that is impacted? A second research question is that if participants are identified as being right-brained, will they have a mood that is impacted greater than those who are identified as being left-brained? These ideas were tested by manipulating font in an online research survey and assessing the mood of participants.
Participants were recruited through a total of four online sources as a sample of convenience. Participants were recruited through the Lindenwood Participant Pool (LPP) and online sites by using Facebook, LinkedIn, and the Psi Chi website. To recruit certain participants, the researcher followed all necessary and ethical standards set by the Participant Pool at Lindenwood University. Included in this sample were a total of 139 responses. Of the participants, 93 students were recruited from the participant pool while 46 participants were recruited through either Facebook, LinkedIn, or the Psi Chi website. Since this was a survey on color, 12 participants were removed from analyses as a result of any type of color-blindness or blindness. A total of 43 respondents were removed for incomplete responses and 1 participant was removed for listing that he or she was under the age of 18. Upon removing those respondents, the data analysis was left with a total of 83 participants. There were 69 participants that identified themselves as female, 14 participants that identified as male, and no participants identified as anything other. The ages of participants ranged from 18 to 56 with the average age being 21. Participants recruited through the LPP were compensated in the form of extra credit and participants recruited from online sources were offered the opportunity to enter their name into a drawing of a $15.00 Amazon e-gift card.
Materials and Procedure
The materials of this research study were online resources. The survey was created on Qualtrics, which is a platform that allows researchers to create surveys online and distribute them through a link (see Appendix A for questionnaire). The questions were either designed by the primary investigator or derived from a Learning and Thinking Inventory by Torrance, Reynolds, Ball, and Riegel (1976). Since not all the participants spoke English as a first language, I adapted the questions in a way so that the questions were easier for participants to understand. Additionally, I took out the third multiple choice option to make categorizing the participants easier. Only a total of nine questions were asked assessing hemispheric dominance in order to also more easily categorize participants as right-brained or left-brained. Prior to beginning the survey, participants were asked to read and agree to an electronic statement of consent. Following, they were asked to verify that they were at least 18 years of age or that they were being recruited through the Lindenwood Participant Pool. Participants who were recruited from the LPP were allowed to be under 18 years of age if they had a consent form filed with the LPP. All other potential subjects under the age of 18 were unable to participate. Participants were also asked if they suffered from any blindness or colorblindness so that their data could be removed from the analysis; however, these participants were not excluded from participation.
The survey consisted of three categories of questions regarding mood, personality, and demographics. Upon consenting, participants were asked on a 10-point scale how they were currently feeling. The scale asked them to rate cheerfulness, calmness, neutrality, and feelings of melancholy. Participants were then asked to give information about their blindness or colorblindness. Following this, participants were asked a total of nine questions about personality and preferences. The information was used to determine whether the participant is more right-brain or left-brain dominant. After participants answered these questions, they were asked to again rate their mood. The end of the survey asked two demographic questions of age and gender, concluding with an option to rate the survey. There were four versions of the same survey differing only in font color: green, brown, purple, and black. Each participant only saw one version of the survey, thereby exposed to only one font color. Participants were randomly assigned to the different versions of the survey. There were four versions of the same survey differing only in font color: green, brown, purple, and black. Each participant only saw one version of the survey, thereby exposed to only one font color. Participants were randomly assigned to the different versions of the survey. Participants who were not being recruited through the participant pool were given a link to a second survey where they were able to provide their email addresses if they wished to do so. The second survey was utilized in order to ensure anonymity of participants while still being able to enter a drawing for an e-gift card.
Upon removing all necessary data sets, statistical analyses were completed. In order to test the first question, if color had an impact on mood, a one-way repeated measures ANOVA was conducted through SPSS. For this measurement, color was the independent variable and change in moods (cheerful, melancholy, neutral, and calm) was used as the measure of the dependent variables. The results of this statistical analysis were insignificant. The one-way repeated measures ANOVA did not provide significant evidence for an impact of color on mood. There were no within-subjects effects of color on mood. The difference in score for cheerfulness with color (M = .13, SD = .903) and without color (M = .13, SD = .619), calmness with color (M = .06, SD = 1.043) and without color (M = .31, SD = .602), neutral with color (M = .09, SD = 1.203) and without color (M = .00, SD = .894) and lastly, the mood with the most notable differences was melancholy with color which was (M = .01, SD = 1.108) and without color (M = -.31, SD = .704). However, none of these were significantly different (see Table 1 for SPSS analysis) To conduct analyses for the second question, if right-brained participants were more impacted by color than left-brained participants, a series of independent samples t-tests were completed through Microsoft Excel. These tests compared the two groups of participants on the difference in scores of the four moods assessed. For left-brained participants, cheerfulness before (M = 6.75, SD = 2.01) and cheerfulness after (M = 7, SD = 2.09) were not significant at t(11) = -0.89715, p = 0.389. Calmness before (M = 6.25, SD = 1.86) and calmness after (M = 6.58, SD = 2.07) were not significant at t(11) = -0.0842423, p = 0.417. Neutral feelings before (M = 5.25, SD = 1.76) and after (M = 4.83, SD = 2.12) were not significant at t(11) = 0.890, p = 0.392. Feelings of melancholy before (M = 3.67, SD = 2.39) and feelings after (M = 3.33, SD = 2.39) were also not significantly different at t(11) = 1.7728, p = 0.104. For right-brained participants, cheerfulness before (M = 5.84, SD = 2.26) and cheerfulness after (M = 95, SD = 2.26) were not significant at t(54) = -0.903015, p = 0.37053. Calmness before (M = 5.71, SD = 2.16) and calmness after (M = 5.71, SD = 2.14) were not significant at t(54) = – 0.573819, p = 1. Neutral feelings before (M = 5.29, SD = 2.09) and after (M = 5.49, SD = 1.99) were not significant at t(54) = -1.375398, p = 0.175. Feelings of melancholy before (M = 4.12, SD = 2.29) and feelings after (M = 4.51, SD = 2.32) were also not significantly different at t(54) = -0.573819, p = 0.568.
The hopeful outcome of this study was to show whether color influences mood. Results of this analysis did not show support for this hypothesis. A secondary goal of this study was to determine whether the impact of color on mood might depend on the participants’ hemispheric dominance. Results of this analysis also did not support this idea.
Some limitations of this study included the mood ratings as they were self-rated and only assessed participants on a total of four moods among the countless number of moods that exist. This is a limitation as participants may have had a mood shift that was not included on the questionnaire. A suggested improvement of this for future research would be to ask about more moods and over a longer survey period. Another limitation could be that participants were identified as being left-brained and right-brained based on their self-reported answers on a questionnaire rather than on the basis of physical brain activity in the hemispheres, which would result in more accurate identifications. A suggestion to resolve this issue would be to ask more questions in order to determine which hemisphere the participant uses more often. For convenience, only nine questions were asked in this survey. It may also be a possibility to physically measure hemispheric activity while completing tasks in order to determine the hemispheric dominance of a participant; however, questionnaires are also an acceptable format. More suggestions for future research may be to use an in-person format as the setting could be more easily manipulated. Additionally, using an in-person format may also allow you to assess mood in different ways other than those used in this study. As other researchers have suggested, further research is needed in order to study the influence of color on mood. This is an essential topic to study as color plays a large role in how we live our daily lives.
A full citation of his study is shown below.
Palmer, Mariah (2017) “The Influence of Color on Mood,” Psychology Research Methods Journal: Vol. 1 : Iss. 20 , Article 17.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.lindenwood.edu/psych_journals/vol1/iss20/17