Colors Symbolism and Psychological Effects

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Color Psychology and Symbols

When you start talking about color symbols and color psychology, you start down a long road of debate between psychologists and color consultants.

Many color theorists throughout history have tried to assign certain colors to human emotions. Simply put, they felt that when people looked upon a particular color, that color would have caused them to experience a certain emotion. Others have even gone as far to suggest that color preferences could reveal individual personality traits.

As time went on, color theorists thought up new ideas and systems linking colors to emotions. But their results began to contradict each other. One of the main reasons this turned out to be the case is that different cultures were brought up to see the same colors differently.

For instance, consider the color black. In the West, black is used as a symbol of death. While in the East, white is used for this symbol instead. And there are many more differences in opinion when it comes to colors and their meanings.

But, you can't blame the researchers for trying, right? Surely, there is no doubt that everyone is moved by color in one way or another.

It's just that everyone is unique and sees thing differently- or, at least, sees "colors" differently- for the sake of this article.

Studies have proven that colors perceived positively or negatively are normally due to the context in which they are being used. So mainly it is not the colors themselves, but the way they are used, or "expressed" that has the profound effect on us.

We can use the color red for an example. Red can be seen as the color of our life- saving blood or as the color of war and bloodshed. It is the color of heat, fire and danger. But, at the same time, (depending on its context) could be seen as: exciting, passionate, powerful, adventurous, and spontaneous- only to name a few.

Here's a question for you: When you see a red stop sign, what do your senses tell you?
On the other hand, when you see a slick, new, red sports car, what are your senses telling you then?

So, it can be said that it's not always the colors themselves, but how they are used. Not to mention, who they are viewed by.

Although, physically the color red has been proven to increase blood pressure, perspiration rate, and arouse the strongest of emotions. Thus, the long road of debate continues.

More about this author: Ashley Clermont

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