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The Influence of Colors on Our Emotions

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Emotion is not a simple phenomenon. Although emotions are accentuated almost in all of the significant aspects of our lives, they are the least understood facet of any human experience. Even describing emotions is an extremely difficult task. People find it very difficult to articulate what they think an emotion could be. People mostly prefer to simply name some emotions like happiness, anger or sadness and for all those who try to give an explanation of what an emotion could be described it as a feeling with respect to the phenomenon such as a mood or a sentiment.

Colour affects every part of our lives. It has an impact on human beings psychologically and physiologically. It is also a vital design element and has a strong relationship with emotion. These statements are supported by the manifestations of colour in product design and marketing and also in other variety of fields like colour therapy, colour meditation and image consulting.

The phenomenon of colour and emotion relationship has been studied by the consumer, marketing and advertising industry and by industrial design. For the past few years, all the sectors that are influenced by the use of colours have been acknowledging the effective role of emotions in their field of research. The role of emotion is investigated for being equipped to create positive emotional responses in their users and to reduce the negative emotion issues drawn by the design. (Norman, 2004)

Many colour research studies have been conducted for establishing the relationship between human emotions and colours. These studies primarily focused on the human emotional responses to a specific colour to help derive positive or negative connotations. In these studies, participants simply match the adjectives with different colours without specifying their reference to an interior space.

It is important to design colour according to user’s emotional reaction. When designing with colour, living environments should be analysed as they may influence human reaction psychologically and physiologically. This approach is called ‘emotionally ergonomic approach to design’ (Jin et al., 2009). Thus, this research is based on the argument that a conscious effort should be made to demonstrate the strong relationship between colour and emotions specifically in an interior environment.

The aim of the study is to develop an argument in respect to colour and emotion associations within the framework of an interior environment is necessary for understanding how influence inhabitants colour in spaces. It is vital for designers and interior designers to understand the effect of colour to reduce the psychological threats to create environments of emotional well-being.

Through my dissertation, I shall throw light on the various aspects that connect the human emotional responses with colour. Firstly I shall try to uncover color as phenomena. The various color theories, philosophies and properties shall be understood. Next the history of emotions, its components, category and related phenomenon.

Next the symbolic associations of colour and the empirical implementations of colour and emotions shall be elaborated. This will be followed by unfolding the emotional response to colour in interior spaces.

There are various other aspects that are associated with colors such as – light and textures. The reaction of the user group to the same color under different lighting conditions also varies. This shall not be included in the scope of my research. I shall limit myself only to colors, disregarding light in my study. Furthermore, the texture of surfaces is also associated with color. My study shall not encompass the association of color and texture. Moreover, my study shall only focus on the psychological effect of colors on human beings in terms of their emotional reactions only and not on any other organism. Furthermore, my study shall not focus on any specific building typology.

Colours have always fascinated and created an interest for human beings wherever they are seen and used. The use of use colours in architecture and interiors goes back to the time of early man. During the Paleolithic era, the early man used flower pigments to draw heirogriphics and paintings. Hence colors and interiors share an extensive history with each other. Throughout the centuries, the method and purpose of using a particular hue has varied immensely. During the early years, it was just known to be used for aesthetics without any idea and meaning behind its use. But in recent years tis ideology has changed. Colours are now given equal importance just as light or any other element that is used in an interior space. Therefore it is important for us to understand the hidden aspects of colours before we decide to use them in a space.

The most interesting feature of colours when they are used in an interior space is that it guides our emotions and affects our mood and reactions to certain objects and spaces. Thus, understanding behavioral patterns that are influenced by the use of colour schemes and individual colours in an interior environment is also important. For an instance when we enter a café the colours used in its interior make us feel relaxed and comfortable and helps in boosting our energy level so as to get into the party mood whereas when we visit a hospital, the colours make us feel calm and subtle and help in creating a healing environment for a speedy recovery of the patient as well as help in creating a positive and hopeful mood for the visitors.

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The Influence Of Colors On Our Emotions. (2019, August 27). GradesFixer. Retrieved March 24, 2023, from
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