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Colors in Cognitive Psychology

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Psychology
Wordcount: 1323 words Published: 21st Sep 2021

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Everything around us is an array of color, from the ground we walk on to the sky above, the world we see is anything but black and white. Some people prefer to wear black clothes while others enjoy bright patterns and abstract design. Red automatically makes us yield cautiously, where as green lets us know that it is ok to go. But, could the colors you see actually influence the way you feel and the decisions you make in your life? Research and even common sense has shown that in fact, colors can portray many different feelings, moods, and even thinking. There is reason for why people have certain favorite colors, why their favorite restaurants are painted such intriguing colors and why certain shades can help anyone achieve opportunity. By looking more in depth at the colors of the things a person may choose to include in their everyday lives, a cognitive perspective could greatly help to understand the reason of this occurrence.

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Colors are one of the many things that play a part in our daily lives, whether we know it or not(http://asociatedcontent.com). But what most people do not realize is just how big of a role color plays on our lives on a more personal level. When you look at an object, the “color” of that object that you see is actually the wavelength of the light reflecting off of the object itself. But why do people associate certain colors with certain things? Research throughout the ages has shown that when people see certain colors they feel different emotions. As every one grows from a young age where they are able to differentiate and understand the things they see, he or she is able to know what color different objects are and even which color represents certain feelings. Bright colors portray happiness and excitement, dark colors are more somber and sad, and those in between trigger all kinds of activity within a person’s mind and body.

From what we know, the primary colors are, red, yellow and blue. Followed by secondary colors and then more complex color mixtures including green, purple, orange, black, grey and white. From what research has shown, Red is an extremely intense color. It expresses passion and draws attention to itself, positive and negative, and it has also been known to cause a rise in a person’s blood pressure. Yellow is the color of happiness, but if it is seen in too large of quantities it can have an ill tempered effect. Blue is the most popular color, it is calming and nice and shows to lower blood pressure. Green reminds us of nature and tranquility, purple represents royalty, orange is often very friendly, and white is the color of cleanliness and purity. On the darker side of the spectrum is black which we see as depressing and bold and even grey that can make one have a feeling of loss and sadness.

When colors are researched and studied, the first concept noticed is how they each portray their own feeling or emotion. Also, different colors do cause different bodily events. Judging by these facts, colors would probably be researched from a biological perspective which focuses on how bodily events affect behavior, feelings, and thoughts(Wade and Tavris 2008). Red is proven to raise blood pressure as the color blue is proven to lower it. Each and everyday colors influence certain reactions and processes within the body that are later expressed through health and emotion.

Colors not only emphasis an object or an emotion, they also catalyze the mind to make unconscious judgments. Research may show that colors can cognitively influence our actions and reasoning towards certain situations in our lives. The branch of psychology known as the cognitive perspective emphasizes what goes on in peoples heads, including reasoning, memory, how we understand language, how we solve problems, explain experiences and also how we acquire moral standings(Wade and Tavris 2008). It focuses mainly on unconscious mental processes, and though people do make their own decisions, there are certain things that help a person to make a choice that even they do not know they are making. Cognitive perspective can also be interpreted as defining how people process, learn, and remember information(www.about.com). When children are young they are often taught which colors go with which word or picture, something that helps them to remember what they are learning. People also need some sort of cue to help them understand why they perceive the things they come in contact with. Colors can also help people further understand these perceptions.

There is an endless number of examples of how colors influence everyone’s lives. One of these examples is the fact that the color of food can curb a person’s appetite. When a person looks at what they are about to eat it does not occur to them that the color could be the reason why they do not eat the food. But this is not the actual case. It was been shown that if a kitchen is painted blue or purple, the people in the kitchen will eat less. This is because since not many foods in the natural world are blue or purple, they unconsciously deny the color. The same concept goes for colors such as yellow and orange with lift a persons spirits and increase appetite. Other accounts have shown that even hair color or the color clothing someone wears to a job interview will greatly influence the employer of whether or not to hire the person. The employers brain reasons that a person with blonde hair would not be as reliable as a person with dark brown hair and also, wearing a more subtle color such as black on an interview would be more hopeful than an intense color such as red. From a sense of moral standing and importance, every culture has its own colors to depict certain aspects of religion. From a cognitive perspective, colors from a more personal stand point will influence someone’s life without them knowing because it is a color they grew up knowing was important to their family and moral life. They process these certain symbols as good or bad or important by their color. Also, different hues of color cause different emotions to run through the mind, and when people feel certain things, it does impair their judgment. Some one who is angry will make a different choice then someone who feels happy. Someone may think more thoroughly about a situation if they are calm rather then if they have a sense of anxiety.

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Research has shown that by applying cognitive psychology to peoples lives we can improve memory, increase decision making accuracy, and enhance learning(www.about.com). By better understanding all the different colors and how they make people feel and react, and how they influence biological processes, researchers can continue to improve ways of learning and thought process. People can eventually make life choices that they know will be successful and that can even improve and simplify their lives. Not only can people know when to use mind stimulating colors, and they can also continue to judge by the colors they see. Applying a cognitive perspective to the idea of colors helps us to understand many different things, such as, why a natural born leader would choose purple, the color of royalty, or why orange makes anyone come off as a friendly person, or why people react to any other shade.

Colors in cognitive psychology could greatly help law enforcement by helping them choose a color that could calm someone during questioning so they do not feel pressured to lie or overwhelmed by an event and can clearly tell what they know. Also, in hospitals can use pastels to relax patients so they can better process what is going on, or use brighter colors to cheer up patients. Colors from a cognitive perspective explain many of life’s occurrences and can further help researches explore the processes of learning, decision making, reasoning, judgment, and many other mind processes.


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