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 (51)
  • 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.

  • angelinat-3-bar
    3/25/2016 - 10:21 a.m.

    White has more than one meaning because people perceive it differently, in different cultures. The article says, "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 perceive the color differently, and relate it to different things. I was interested in this article because I like to learn about the brain, and how it controls people's thoughts.

  • oscarb-1-bar
    3/25/2016 - 10:35 a.m.

    White has more than one meaning because it is a blank color. "we think of white as representing purity and innocence, but in some eastern cultures, it's the color of mourning" There are multiple colors that is in the white light. Therefore there could be many feelings inflected with white.

  • libbys-4-bar
    3/25/2016 - 01:35 p.m.

    White has more than one meaning because of diffrent cultures. "The cultures we live in also tend to dictate how we read certain colors."(p.5) I liked to learn about the colors.

  • vincentl-ver
    3/28/2016 - 01:13 p.m.

    I agree that colors usually have meaning due to past experiences and is also due to our brains functions, hobbies and habits.

  • normanl-hol
    3/28/2016 - 02:01 p.m.

    Color is cool????

  • lilyg-2-bar
    3/28/2016 - 11:10 p.m.

    White has more than one meaning depending on where you live and how different cultures choose to interpret these colors. "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." I think this is interesting because it's cool that different people associate different feelings for a certain color, based on their experience with it.

  • colleens-
    3/29/2016 - 07:31 p.m.

    White has more than one meaning because of different cultures and past experiences. In parts of the west it's a sign of mourning and others it stands for purity. If you had a bad experience with the color, you're not going to like the color.

  • sebastianr-6-bar
    3/30/2016 - 09:59 p.m.

    White has more than one meaning because, as the article says, colors are set by personal experiences. Also there are many different cultures that think of colors in many different ways. Color in one culture could represent something good and a color in another culture could represent something bad, It all depends on experiences. Color isn't a set thing and is always changing based on what we go through in life. For example in west people think of white as purity and innocence but in the eastern cultures white is the color of mourning. I think that color is actually a very important thing because it is such a big part of everyones life and we can use it to our advantage when it comes to a good working environment or even just to feel relaxed and comfortable.

  • josepht-2-bar
    3/30/2016 - 10:12 p.m.

    White has more then one meaning because different cultures have a different way of thinking. And people in different places might like the color white compared to people in a different area, because of experience. "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." I think this article is interesting because I didn't know that people could think differently of a color.

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