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Medicineworld.org: Color Red Can Affect How People Function

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Color Red Can Affect How People Function

Color Red Can Affect How People Function
The color red can affect how people function: Red means danger and commands us to stop in traffic. Scientists at the University of Rochester have now observed that red also can keep us from performing our best on tests.

If test takers are aware of even a hint of red, performance on a test will be affected to a significant degree, say scientists at Rochester and the University of Munich. The scientists article in the recent issue of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General on the effect of red on intellectual performance reveals that color associations are so strong and embedded so deeply that people are predisposed to certain reactions when they see red.

Andrew J. Elliot, lead author and professor of psychology at the University of Rochester, and his co-authors observed that when people see even a flash of red before being tested, they associate the color with mistakes and failures. In turn, they do poorly on the test. Red, of course, is traditionally linked to marking errors on school papers.

"Color clearly has aesthetic value, but it can also carry specific meaning and convey specific information," says Elliot. "Our study of avoidance motivation is part and parcel of that".

Four experiments demonstrated that the brief perception of red previous to an important testsuch as an IQ test or a major examactually impaired performance. Two further experiments also established the link between red and avoidance motivation when task choice and psychophysiological measures were applied.

The findings show that "care must be taken in how red is used in achievement contexts," the scientists reported, "and illustrate how color can act as a subtle environmental cue that has important influences on behavior".

Elliot and colleagues didnt use just any color of red. He assessed the colors using guidelines for hue, saturation, and brightness, and purchased a high-quality printer and a spectrophotometer for the research. He was stunned to learn that results from earlier work on color psychology by others didnt control for saturation and brightness.

The articles hypothesis is based on the idea that color can evoke motivation and have an effect without the subject being aware of it. "It leads people to do worse without their knowledge," says Elliot, when it comes to academic achievement. In one of the six tests given, for example, people were allowed a choice of questions to answer. Most of them chose to answer the easiest question, a classic example of how to avoid failure.

The scientists think that "color carries different meanings in different contexts." If the context changes, the implications do, too. Elliots next study will focus on physical attractiveness.


Posted by: JoAnn    Source




Did you know?
The color red can affect how people function: Red means danger and commands us to stop in traffic. Scientists at the University of Rochester have now observed that red also can keep us from performing our best on tests. If test takers are aware of even a hint of red, performance on a test will be affected to a significant degree, say scientists at Rochester and the University of Munich. The scientists article in the recent issue of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General on the effect of red on intellectual performance reveals that color associations are so strong and embedded so deeply that people are predisposed to certain reactions when they see red.

Medicineworld.org: Color Red Can Affect How People Function

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