How do colors affect our moods? Have you heard of the saying, feeling blue? (Thinkstock)
How do colors affect our moods?
Lexile

You asked us, how do colors affect our moods?
 
Oh, man, I'm green with envy. I'm so angry I'm seeing red. Oh guys, I'm feeling really blue today.
 
We definitely tend to link colors with emotions and there's been plenty of psychological and social research on how specific colors actually influence our moods and actions.
 
But, the effects of color aren't written into our DNA. They're set by personal experience. I mean, you could imagine some universal associations between say, a feeling of tranquility and the calm blue of the sky, but for Joe Schmoe, blue might also trigger anger and fear because it reminds him of the jacket on the playground bully.
 
The cultures we live in also tend to dictate how we read certain colors. Like in the west, we think of white as representing purity and innocence, but in some eastern cultures, it's the color of mourning.
 
The lack of consensus hasn't stopped advertisers from using those cultural differences to try and influence our buying decisions or office managers from relying on color information theory to increase productivity in the workplace.
 
Whether these colorful tricks work or not is up for debate.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why does white have more than one meaning?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (50)
  • kieranw-3-bar
    3/23/2016 - 11:03 p.m.

    White has more then one meaning because different cultures have different ways of thinking. In the west we think of white as a color of purity where in the east white represents mourning or sadness. I find this article very fascinating because I always believed colors were tied to our emotions based on DNA but now that makes sense that the colors we envision in our emotions represent a strong feeling we once had. I find this article very cool and it taught me what the basis is of why we tie emotions to colors.

  • lukem-orv
    3/24/2016 - 12:49 p.m.

    Because something with one meaning is boring. But when you discover that it has another meaning, then it's not boring. For example if you have a magnet and it can only tract nails, that could be fun to mess with and then you get bored. But when you find out that magnets can tract other objects like coins, keys, and more than you don't get as bored because you realize that the magnet has more than one meaning.

  • jennac-orv
    3/24/2016 - 01:02 p.m.

    It may have more than one meaning because it depends on what it reminds you of, if it reminds you of innoscence that is what it will bean to you.

  • dashiellg-3-bar
    3/24/2016 - 04:04 p.m.

    White has more than one meaning because different society's and cultures have different ways of seeing things and different experiences. In this article it explains that in the west people may think that the color white represents purity and innocence. The article also says that in the east white could mean sadness or represent mourning. This is a great example of two different cultures looking at one color two different ways. I thought this article was interesting because of some of the ways they interpreted colors I agreed with and some I did not.

  • audreyv-4-bar
    3/24/2016 - 06:31 p.m.

    The color white has more than one meaning, because different cultures perceive the colors differently. For example, western culture look at the color white as a sign of purity or innocence, while eastern cultures look at the color white as a sign of mourning. The color white can also mean something different to an individual, because of personal experiences with the color.

    I found this article very interesting, because I never knew that other cultures perceived colors differently from us.

  • samuelh-3-bar
    3/24/2016 - 08:51 p.m.

    White has more than one meaning, because different regions have different opinions on the color. In the west white represents purity, and in some eastern cultures it represents mourning.

  • maggiec-3-bar
    3/24/2016 - 10:53 p.m.

    White has more than one meaning because different cultures have different ways of living. In paragraph five it says "The cultures we live in also tend to dictate how we read certain colors. Like in the west, we think of white as representing purity and innocence, but in some eastern cultures, it's the color of mourning." This shows that people in different cultures tend to do different things because it is what they have been taught. So in those different cultures even the way they think of some colors is different. Also the effects of color are set by personal experiences. If someone has had a bad experience with something white, then it causes bad feelings. But if someone has had a nice experience with white involved, then they are left with a good feeling. I really enjoyed this article and I think it is interesting how colors affect people in different ways.

  • gabriellek-1-bar
    3/24/2016 - 11:04 p.m.

    White has more than one meaning because different places in the world have different uses of certain colors. In the west white is a color of innocence and purity. In Eastern cultures white is the color of mourning. I found this article surprising because I found that colors mean different things to people based off of personal experience.

  • sofiat-4-bar
    3/24/2016 - 11:18 p.m.

    White has more than one meaning because it is all about what emotion is tied to it. The color white can mean something different to 100 different people. "But, the effects of color aren't written into our DNA. They're set by personal experience. I mean, you could imagine some universal associations between say, a feeling of tranquility and the calm blue of the sky, but for Joe Schmoe, blue might also trigger anger and fear because it reminds him of the jacket on the playground bully." I find this interesting because i have noticed that i have tied different emotions to different colors.

  • yuaw-3-bar
    3/25/2016 - 12:36 a.m.

    White has more than one meaning because "The cultures we live in also tend to dictate how we read certain colors." ( paragraph 5) In the article it said that "...in the west, we think of white as representing purity and innocence, but in some eastern cultures, it's the color of mourning." Which tells us the different meanings of white in certain cultures.
    I thought this was interesting because colors really emphasize how I see peoples mood and colors label mood from my perspective. Such as red reveals angry or mad. I think that everyone can relate to this and I thought this topic was very interesting.

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