If we learned anything from the Internet debacles known as The Dress and The Shoe, it’s that people can be driven right out of their minds by color (particularly if they can’t decide what the color they’re looking at actually is). So it’s no surprise that, as this video from BuzzFeed Blue points out, there is significant research being done on the complex psychology of color. In a number of studies, researchers have shown that colors affect human behavior and the brain in a variety of powerful ways.
We all have our favorite colors, for course (A survey from Dulux paints found that the most popular color in the world is blue), but colors in even the most seemingly insignificant uses can affect our moods and perceptions. Experiments conducted in the 60s and 70s, for example, showed that subjects taking red pills were more stimulated than those taking blue pills, and that they preferred blue pills as sleeping aids over orange ones. Red pills, in contrast, were seen as more effective painkillers than blue, white, or green ones. The kicker? All of the pills were placebos, with no actual medication at all. Subjects thus judged their efficacy according to color. (Take a look at the pills in your medicine cabinet. You can bet that pharmaceutical companies have put this research to good use.)
This video explains some of the other strange color-biases that researchers have uncovered, which may lead you to ask — if you’re anything like me — “If color affects our behavior and perceptions of the world, and, as the recent color-related Internet meltdowns have shown, color perception is subjective, then on what, precisely, are our behavior and perceptions based? IS EVERYTHING A LIE?” I'm asking.
Check out the results of some of these color studies, and then think about how color might be, ahem, coloring your view of the world.
Watch the whole video below:
Images: Pixabay; YouTube (5)