Room Wall Color Affects Mood - Really?

Is there some solid evidence for the oft-heard theory that the colors of the room’s walls affects the mood of the people therein?

I just Googled “Colors, moods”, and it came up with their usual ‘313000’ sites.
Give it a try.

IIRC, the US Navy did extensive studies in this area back in the 60s. They were researching colors for long-deployment craft like submarines. Blue is calming, red excites and irritates.

That’s pretty intuitive.

I don’t know what kind of sadist would force men to live underwater for long periods of time in a cramped space with glaring red walls. On the other hand, I might not mind it if the walls were a cool blue.

I seem to recall a psych class way back in college that had a study on this. I wouldn’t be surprised if it had some basis in fact.

Certainly one of my old realtors believes it.

And, for the record, many MANY direct marketers believe that certain colors on direct mail packages increase or depress response. I’m not one of them but at times I feel outnumbered by the ‘never use green’ crowd.

Resturants and stores also employ colors to stimulate customers. Many fast-food resturants use orange which is supposedly a color which makes you want to eat more. Red is a color which is supposed to be bold and exciting, which is why you see it on a lot of packaging.

There’s a book anyone interested in this subject might enjoy: The Total Package: The Secret History and Hidden Meanings of Boxes, Bottles, Cans, and Other Persuasive Containers

I am an Architect and have my 16+ years of project experiences telling me that colors do affect perception. I personally do multi-family projects where color is pretty non-exisitent–but my office does many hospitals and believe me the color of your recovery room has a definite impact on your thought processes as you recover! Our retail studio also does extensive color studies as well–so I would think for sure that it has an impact.

But there are several studies I know that suggest this—one book I recall the from my Pyschology undergrad was called ‘The Pyschology of Color’ (don’t recall the author) and it relates how color interacts with our perceptions of the space. I am sure there are others, but that is one I recall.

I would even venture to go as far as saying the color of your clothing also has impact on how people view you. Wear a dark suit somewhere with a dark conservative tie, and then wear one with a red power tie and see if people treat you differently. Colors that wash you out may not strike the image as someone who is strong, whereas too much color runs the risk of looking like a clown. Color is a difficult concept to gain a handle on.

Being a big fan of empirical evidence, I hope that this Well-controlled study is of help to you.


What?!? A link to an actual study, with actual data? Are you mad??

This is perfect - thanks much, *Cartooniverse.

Show-off! :smiley:

Never use green? Are you sure you don’t mean “Always use green (because it makes people think of money)”?

— Preens feathers contentedly— After all, this is G.Q. :slight_smile: