Colour psychology is the study of the effect that colours have on human behaviour particularly the natural instinctive feelings that each colour evokes. Colour preference is subjective however colour psychology reveals how each colour creates a collective emotional, mental and physical response in people as a whole.
Red for example will create feelings of warmth, movement, ambition, determination and sometimes anger! red may bring to mind sayings that have been passed down through the ages such as 'it was like holding up a red rag to a bull!'
Cultures from around the world may differ in their use of colour symbolism and psychology for example in South Asian culture it is common for a bride to marry wearing red where as in Western culture a bride traditionally wears white.
Colour Affects Us all on a Daily Basis
Colours in our environment affect us on a daily basis, they can act as unconscious triggers that influence how we think, feel and react to the world around us. We are able to see around 7,000,000 colours, some combinations can create a clash of the senses where as other colour combinations create an atmosphere of harmony and balance. The ‘right’ choice of colours can create a haven for relaxation or an environment that can increase productivity, stimulate the mind and raise energy levels.
Psychology of Colour Effects Patients Recovery
The correct choice of colour for décor in hospitals has been shown to have a significant effect on patients recovery. Blue creates a feeling of cleanliness and healing, it has been shown to calm patients reactions in accident and emergency wards.
Natural daylight is key when considering a healing environment as it contains all the colours of the spectrum and is absorbed through the eyes and skin. Patients recovery time has shortened as a result of them being able to look out into nature. The lush greens of nature brings as back to a state of balalance & harmony, we must never underestimate the healing energy of the colours that permeate nature.
"I have seen in fevers, the most acute suffering produced from the patient (in a hut), not being able to see out of the window and the knots in the wood being the only view. I shall never forget the rapture of fever-patients over a bunch of bright-coloured flowers".
- Florence Nightingale, 1860
By June McLeod Dip.Col.T.S.
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