HONOURABLE MENTION

Does the Colour of a Room Affect Human Behaviour?

Find out how the colour of a room can affect a human's emotions and actions.
Ethan Zhong
Grade 5

Presentation

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Problem

I think that it is very interesting to see how something as small as colour can affect large things such as behaviour. In this pandemic, most of us spend most of our time enclosed in a room. According to Dr. Anita, in partnership with the Global Work-from-Home Experience Survey, more than 56% of the United States workforce has a job that is at least partially compatible with remote work.[6] So, what would happen if you were surrounded by a single colour (the colour of your walls, door, and ceiling) for a long period? This is called "colour psychology". Some of us might want to change our room colour, for example, yellow might make you feel anxious. N. Luinsky's research shows that some colours might make you more productive, and others might make you more cheerful. Some might keep you more focused on your work. [7] Colours can also have medical purposes, too. This is called "colour therapy". Colour has many different uses, for example, medical, mood, etc. 

Colours are a major part of our daily lives. From clothes to cars, from paints to food, how does the colour of a room affect human behaviour? According to a survey taken since 2011, the favourite colour amongst people is blue. Blue can help give a sense of stability and calmness, but sometimes sadness. Colour psychology suggests that different colours can evoke different feelings. [1] Scientists have found that what you think of colour is highly personal, rooted in your experience and culture. For example, while the colour white represents purity and innocence in Western countries, it is shown as a symbol of mourning in many Eastern countries. While blue and green are the most popular colours in the world, brown and yellow are the least popular. What you think of colour is sometimes dependant on your age and gender. for example, red is very popular for the 70+ age range. Males mostly like blue, but females mostly like green.

 

 

Method

Most of this information comes from surveys, case studies,  and simple observations.

Research

Red (hex #FF0000): Red is one of the colour spectrum's most visible colours (second only to yellow) because of its long wavelength. That is why it is often used as a warning colour, for example, fire engines and fire extinguishers. This colour also has non-literal meanings of danger, such as the idiom "in the red". It also represents energy and aggression, as well as dominance, power, and love. This colour is very popular with sports teams because it makes the athlete feel that they dominate other teams. People tend to relate this colour with negative qualities because this colour represents fire and blood.

Orange (hex #FFA500): This colour is controversial, people tend to either love it or hate it. [5] Like yellow and red, this colour is very attention-grabbing (it has a long wavelength): it is used on advertisements, traffic cones, road signs, and signal lights. The shade Google Docs uses is not pure orange. Instead, it is a shade called "web orange(hex #FFA900)". This colour has slightly more red in it and is therefore slightly darker. Orange is often described as energetic, happy, and spiritual.  This colour is often used in restaurants, as it can make people hungry. Orange is often linked to autumn and sunsets. This colour is one of the colour wheel's most energetic colours, along with bright red, bright yellow, and lime. It evokes mostly positive feelings.

Yellow (hex #FFFF00): This colour is the colour spectrum's most visible and attention-grabbing colour. This colour is also often used in advertising and caution signs. Some fire trucks are even yellow! However, this colour is the most fatiguing to the eye due to the high amount of light it reflects, which can cause eyestrain, or in some extreme cases, xanthopsia (a vision deficiency caused by too much yellow in the eyes, which explains the yellowish tinting of some of Van Gogh's works [4]). This colour is often described as happy, energetic, and warm. However, yellow is also sometimes described as overly aggressive and frustrated. This colour evokes equally positive and negative feelings.

Champagne: Champagne was named after the bubbly beverage and closely resembles the colour of beige. This colour pairs well with most colours and is typically used to highlight oranges and yellows. This is probably the most positive colour, as champagne is drunk on special happenings like New Year's Eve. This colour also goes well with most metallic colours, like silver and bronze, and makes for a great room colour as well.[2] 

Blue (hex #0000FF): According to Baraniuk C.'s studies, there are decreased crime and suicide rates in cities with blue streetlights[3].

My research means that different colours evoke different feelings. Blue and green are the most popular colours and evoke much of the same feelings. Both colours, however, only have one negative feeling: sadness. Champagne is a very beautiful and popular room colour, but it is not ranked as a favourite colour because it seems very bland alone. The most popular house interior colour, however, is not champagne but a very similar, darker colour, light taupe (hex #B38B6D). People tend to prefer neutral colours like this for exterior colours. Houses with neutral-coloured exteriors are usually sold out first. Another similar colour to champagne and taupe is beige (hex #CFB997).

 

 

 

Data

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Conclusion

Colour plays an important role in conveying moods and emotions, and even affects the decisions people make. People often select colours that have a certain meaning that reflects the person's mood and character. Interior designers have often valued colour for the moods it evokes. The thing is, scientists have found that the feelings colours evoke are dependent on emotions and culture. More scientific research is needed to truly understand colour and its meanings.

Further research:

  1. Paint my room different colours and do experiments on myself, will feel how the colours affect me in terms of psychology, I would paint my room beige, I will see how a neutral colour affects me 
  2. Do more research about more colours such as purple and black
  3. Interview friends and family members about their favourite room colours 
  4. Create a "colours and their moods" chart
  5. Look at a realtor's record of sold houses and see what colour of a house is sold out most quickly
  6. See what colour lamp my family members like best

 

 

 

Citations

Acknowledgement

I would like to say thank you to my teacher, Mr. Ye Zhang, for helping me with my science fair project and any problems I may have had.

I would also like to say thank you to my parents for helping me with research.

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