Category Archives: reds

The Color Red and its Many Meanings

Stop and think about the color red.

… Get it? Stop and think. The color red conveys different meanings throughout the world. In North America, the color red is used for stop lights and stop signs. It also serves this purpose in other nations in addition to representing personal emotions.

According to incredibleart.org red also represents “Excitement, energy, passion, love, desire, speed, strength, power, heat, aggression, danger, fire, blood, war, violence, and all things intense and passionate.” In Eastern cultures, red indicates happiness.

Red comes in all shapes and sizes, but these meanings are rather consistent. Lately, however, red is a color of contradiction.

Red, a Color of Contradiction

The journal Appetite recently issued a new study that arrived at a simple conclusion: “the color red reduces consumption.” But don’t be quick to add “appetite suppressant” to its list of traits. For years, branding experts have been saying that red stimulates hunger. Karen Haller is a color and branding expert who confirms this by saying, “red triggers stimulation, appetite, hunger, and it attracts attention.”

It is no secret that people are drawn to the color red, after all, red lipstick, cocktail dresses, and roses are thought to be very alluring. How can it encourage one’s appetite while decreasing consumption?

Cognitive psychology researcher and author of the new study Nicola Bruno seeks to answer this question. She evaluates the consumption of 240 volunteers given popcorn, chocolate, or hand cream on different colored plates.

The CNN article covering this topic states, “On average, people ate less popcorn and chocolate when they were served on red plates compared to blue or white plates.” But this is not exclusive to food. “Moisturizing cream followed a similar trend. When testing hand cream on red plates, people used about half as much, on average, compared to cream on blue or white plates.”

Oliver Genschow, who studies consumer psychology at the University of Mannheim, agrees that “the study supports the idea that red reduces consumption.” However, the research only goes so far as to say this is a “subconscious” phenomenon. Should people know red decreases consumption, eating from red plates may not help them. Considering branding experts are convinced red triggers hunger, it is probably best to stop… and think about what’s on the plate.

Image made available by  luizfilipe on Flickr through Creative Common Licenses.

Read more Segmation blog posts about Color Psychology:

The Psychology of Color

Vehicle Safety and Car Color

Red and Green are an Unlikely Pair

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Do Men and Women See Colors Differently?

Do Men and Women See Colors Differently

Have you ever wondered if men and women have visual differences? After all, we don’t always see eye to eye.

Now you can put curiosity to rest; one study shows people of opposing genders disagree on hues. This means men and women experience different color perspectives.

Nevertheless, with new information comes new questions like, why? What causes this inconsistency?

How do Men and Women See Colors Differently?

Men and women rarely see the same color hues. It is common for males to require a longer wavelength than females in order to experience similar shades of certain colors.

Warmer colors have longer wavelengths than cooler colors. This means that reds and oranges are likely to appear bolder and stronger to men. Women, on the other hand, tend to see vibrant green hues with clarity and precision.

Males are also known to be better at identifying colorful detail from a distance, while women excel at this when colors are closer. In general, men are more sensitive to colors too. Yet, women have the ability to easily differentiate between slight changes in color.

What Causes Visual Differences in Men and Women?

Realizing men and women have different visual perspectives is interesting, but learning why opposite genders experience colors in unique ways is enlightening. To uncover this mystery, it is necessary to consult evolutionary theories. Let’s return to a time when men and women were known as “hunters and gathers.”

In addition to identifying details from a distance, males have keen senses for detecting fast moving objects and flashing lights. Ultimately, requiring longer wavelengths that exist in warmer colors also increases man’s attention to “fine detail and rapidly moving stimuli.” All the while, females excel at distinguishing colors close at hand. This implies men are naturally good at hunting, and women are purposed for gathering objects like nuts and berries.

Do Men and Women See Colors Differently 1This research does not prove that one gender sees color better than the other. Rather, men and women have different visual strengths that were, at one time, used in tandem to provide sustenance for themselves and their communities.

Citing a number of tests and color experiments, this study reveals how men and women see the world in unique ways.

Explore more about this subject, and keep the information in mind next time you’re decorating.

Read more Segmation blog posts about Color Perspectives:

Light Creates Space, Color, Perception and Art

Perspectives on Color

Color Can Help You Understand Personality Types

Image made available by charles van L. on Flickr through Creative Common Licenses.

Image made available by Beshef on Flickr through Creative Common Licenses.

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