What Is The Psychology Behind Colors?

Medically Reviewed on 8/1/2022
Psychology Behind Colors
Colors have been used since ancient times to treat certain illnesses, both physical and mental.

The mood is influenced by a variety of factors perceived by the senses. Touching a child’s soft hands, listening to your loved one’s laughter, smelling your favorite food, hearing a soothing melody, or seeing greenery can have a joyful impact on the mind.

The importance of colors is such that they have been encouraged or forbidden in particular situations. This may vary depending on different cultures, regions, religions, or ethnicities. 

  • For example, black is worn to funerals, whereas white is worn by the bride on their wedding day.
  • Many Asian countries promote bright colors, such as red, green, or yellow on auspicious occasions, such as marriages and engagements.
  • Similarly, although white may be a part of auspicious celebrations in the west, several eastern countries consider as a symbol of mourning or bereavement.

Colors, for a long time, have attracted attention to exploring their effect on the mind and body. Several theories have been proposed and studies explored their therapeutic potential as well.

What is color psychology?

Color psychology is the study of the impact of colors on human behavior and mood.

While some colors may be liked by more people in general, your likes and dislikes for colors essentially have a deep-rooted reason.

  • It could be because of your culture, past experiences, or even beliefs that may make you like or dislike a color.
  • Sometimes, even the way you are brought up may make you choose certain colors. The most typical example is pink for girls and blue for boys.
Thus, colors could be used to lure customers’ minds. Usually, articles for females are made in the shades of pink or peach, and black, blue, or grey are made for males.

How do colors affect people’s mood?

Knowing the way colors impact people generally has commercial or marketing implications as well. Colors are used by architects and interior designers to suit their clients’ moods and personalities. Vibrant colors in the living room make the person feel happy and energetic, whereas softer tones in the bedroom are quite suitable to prepare the mind for sleep.

Even the colors of the lighting have significance with tones, such as orange or red increases the feeling of anxiety or agitation, and subtle blues and greens have a calming effect. Studies show that although blue light may calm you, it is not suitable for restful sleep. It messes up melatonin hormone levels and may disrupt your sleep cycle.

The different combinations of colors used by painters help express the thoughts behind their art. Colors are now being used by people unapologetically and regardless of their age, gender, or other notions to express themselves.


Laughter feels good because… See Answer

Color psychology chart

Table. Color psychology and how it affects behaviors
Color Behaviors
  • Excitement
  • Strength
  • Love
  • Energy
  • Confidence
  • Success
  • Bravery
  • Sociability
  • Creativity
  • Happiness
  • Warmth
  • Cheer
  • Nature
  • Healing
  • Freshness
  • Quality
  • Trust
  • Peace
  • Loyalty
  • Competence
  • Compassion
  • Sincerity
  • Sophistication
  • Sweet
  • Royalty
  • Luxury
  • Spirituality
  • Ambition
  • Dependable
  • Rugged
  • Trustworthy
  • Simple
  • Formality
  • Dramatic
  • Sophistication
  • Security
  • Clean
  • Simplicity
  • Innocence
  • Honest

Can colors help treat certain illnesses?

Colors have been used since ancient times to treat certain illnesses, both physical and mental. In current times, colors are used by the practitioners of alternative medicine to treat certain illnesses.

The use of colors to treat illnesses is called chronotherapy or color therapy. It is based on the notion that because the light of different colors carries different energy, frequency, and wavelength, it has a distinct impact on the human mind and body. This may help treat different diseases.

Even in modern medicine, phototherapy, such as blue light, is used to treat jaundice in newborns, and ultraviolet light therapy treats several skin conditions. Although these applications of lights being utilized in modern therapy have been scientifically proven, the application and relevance of color therapy are yet to get substantial evidence.

Some of the examples of color therapy include:

  • The color red is used to increase metabolic rate and appetite.
  • Green color has an application in calming a restless or anxious mind. It is said to improve metabolism.
  • Orange color is proposed to help with thyroid dysfunction. It improves mood.
  • The color yellow is believed to improve nerve function and concentration and remove toxins from the body.
  • Blue can have a calming effect, reduce appetite, and help treat migraine headaches.
Medically Reviewed on 8/1/2022
Image Source: iStock image

Color Psychology. https://www.colorpsychology.org/

Color and psychological functioning: a review of theoretical and empirical work. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00368/full

What Is Color Psychology? https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/what-is-color-psychology