Effects color has on mood and stereotypes

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Southern New Hampshire University
This paper is a further exploration of some findings by Buckalew and Bell (1985). Their experiment classified the drawings of faces drawn by 18 children between the ages of four and six as happy, sad, or indifferent. The author found that color had an effect on mood. In our study, 30 college students between the ages of 19 and 26 were given five different colored piece of paper (red, yellow, green, blue, and white). Each colored pieces of paper had the outline of a stick figure with a blank face and no gender identified. From the five colors listed, subjects were asked their favorite color, least favorite color, and then to rank the colors on a scale of one to five, from their favorite to least favorite color. Subjects’ drawings were then analyzed to see if mood was reflected in the drawings. We also wanted to explore the potential stereotypes surrounding colors (e.g., would red be associated with aggression or would blue be considered male). The drawings were examined to see if test subjects added more detail to the drawing on their favorite colored piece of paper; if more aggression was expressed in the drawings on the red piece of paper as opposed to the favorite color; also what gender was associated with each color. We conclude that color does have an effect on mood, and evidence supports the notion that association about color can be stereotypical. (Author abstract)