Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Sadness in color

The world can appear a little darker when we are “feeling blue”, new research suggests that the links we make between emotion and color go further than just a metaphor. Recently, a study has indicated that feeling sadness may actually change how we perceive color. In the study, participants watched an emotional film clip and then were to complete a visual judgment task. They were randomly assigned to watch a film clip anticipated to create sadness or a comical clip intended to encourage pleasure.  After viewing the video clip, the participants were then shown numerous color patches and were asked to indicate whether each patch was red, yellow, green, or blue. The results showed that participants who watched the sad clip were less accurate in recognizing color patches that were on the blue-yellow axis. They showed no difference in accuracy for colors on the red-green axis.  This study has linked color perception on the blue-yellow axis with the neurotransmitter dopamine. Being a more recent study, there will be follow-up studies in order to fully understanding the relationship between emotion and color perception.

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