Color Dynamics

Following on the emotional impulses’ colors create within us, that inner pulse that doesn’t need explanation. Color has three basic properties: hue, lightness, and chroma. Variation in any of these properties could influence downstream effect, cognition, or behavior, yet only hue is considered in most theorizing.

Our feelings about colors are often personal and rooted in our own experience, culture.

So, we hear those stories about energy exchange, astrology, numerology,  tarot reading, psychedelics, hypnotherapy & other representations of subtle subtext awareness. Knowingly we sign-up for professional expertise in the pull of creative language. Perhaps the most overlooked & profound reflection would come from something as simple as color. Following on the emotional impulses’ colors create within us, that inner pulse that doesn’t need explanation. 

Our feelings about colors are often personal and rooted in our own experience, culture.  

The psychology of color is based on the mental and emotional effects colors have on sighted people in all facets of life. The effect known as the  Isolation Effect states that an item that soars with its bright imagery is more likely to be remembered. Research clearly shows that participants are able to recognize and recall an item far better when it blatantly sticks out from its surrounding.  

Memory is an everchanging fluctuating element, calling in for the presence of the event depending on the abrupt color visible to the eyesight.  From this standpoint, It is rather hard to make a clear-ingrained statement on the effect colors have on us, since one will associate blue with vacation memories, while the other one with a car accident. But. Life is always generalized to give us an effect of relatability.  

any of these properties could influence downstream effect, cognition, or behavior, yet only hue is considered in most theorizing.  

Let’s address primarily colors that shape our naked-eye reality & how we  relate to them in a modern setting: 

Red: anxiety, arousing, daring, dominance, energy, excitement, love,  passion, power, protection, stimulant 

Orange: abundance, fitness, comfort, daring, extraversion, sensuality,  warmth 

Yellow: cheerfulness, friendliness, optimism, self-esteem, sincerity Green: equilibrium, harmony, health, hope, peace, prosperity, relaxation

Blue: calm, competence, efficiency, intelligence, logic, reflection, reliability,  smooth 

Pink: charm, feminine, gentle, nurturing, sophistication, tranquility, Brown: nature, security, ruggedness. 

Black: dignity, glamour, safety, power, richness, substance, upper-class White: purity, clarity, honesty, innocence, tender. 

Indeed, from the standpoint of blank slate none of this makes sense, it only does if we recognize & become aware of our learned behavior to identify the color palette in this particular manner. For years marketing, filmmakers,  branding have been doing a coded job of incredible caliber by manipulating our attention: salon-make-up business using the color pink for females &  grey-blue for men, food-chains using red & yellow, banks – green, navy – blue, and, charities use white and so on. One big illusion we have unintentionally signed up for. 

Similar effects occur with lightning. People who recall an ethical behavior estimated a room to be brighter. Subconsciously, they wanted other people to see their good deeds.  

Likewise, restricting visibility increases “bad” behavior: sports teams with black uniforms get a higher ratio for penalties. In the context of darkness,  immoral behaviors feel less visible.  

What does science say? 

Elliot and Mayer have proposed color-in-context theory, which draws on social learning, as well as biology. Certain responses to color stimuli are based solely on the repeated pairing of color particular concepts,  messages, and experiences. Others are presumed to represent a  biologically engrained predisposition that is reinforced and shaped by social learning. Associations can be extended beyond natural bodily processes  (blood flow modulations) to objects in close proximity to the body (clothes,  accessories). As implied by the name of the theory, the physical and psychological context in which color is perceived is thought to influence its meaning and, accordingly, responses to it. 

Further down the line, we’ve learned that our brain confuses physical warmth with a social one. We all have felt these concepts simultaneously when our parents held us as babies. For a moment now visualize the sensation of being held. Do you start seeing the third concept? Bodily warmth also requires physical proximity. In other words, our brain has  these connections:  

- Warmth = Proximity 

- Warmth = Red 

And finally, our brain infers Red = Proximity. Red objects simply feel closer to us and this proximity influences our perception of the details.  

Identically we perceive cool colors to be further away from us.  

All it means is this: knowing that colors are an equal trigger as temperature,  frequency & proximity, our entire shaped biases are built around events that exist in our long-term memory. Constantly they are either getting stronger in their meaning or drastically change due to life circumstances and events. 

Our observation is a game of comparison. Red vs blue, green vs yellow.  Facts will always be facts and we should never ignore them.  

For example: Even though a new replacement of fluorescent light has been advertised to us as an invention of cost consumption efficiency, traditional incandescent light gives us a warm setting that sets our environment in a comforting undertone, but what are we looking for? Is it a setting for a social event or a study room? Exposure to blue light is expected to facilitate alertness and enhance performance on tasks requiring sustained attention. Blue light is poised to activate the melanopsin photoreceptors, which, in turn, activate the brain structures involved in sub-cortical arousal and higher-order attentional processing. Meanwhile warm orange light stimulates the part of our perception responsible for sensitivity. It’s academia over romance and both have a place to be.


- Red has the longest wavelength of any color. It’s the first color babies can see, and it’s the very first color to vanish as the sunsets. 

- Red is an appetite stimulant. Strawberries, cranberries, tomatoes,  apples are all red when ripe.  

- Used during exams red ink is associated with negative feedback,  consequently affects students’ scores.  

- Painters use red-like spice. 

- Opposite to red, blue – makes food unappealing 

- Blue regulates heartbeat and rate of breathing.  

- Yellow makes us feel dizzy. 

- In Japan yellow is a color of courage, in Egypt – mourning.

Finally, let’s bring up the past & see the drastic difference in how much  more care of attention has been put to power and wisdom of color dynamics: 

Accordingly, these days knowledge has been cultivated into the foundation of color light therapy that is being investigated and implemented in medical research centers worldwide.  

Penetrating the skin to nourish the body with a multitude of health benefits chromotherapy is utilized via infrared sauna treatment. 

- Reduced swelling, decreased inflammation (yellow) 

- Improved circulation (red) 

- Regulated mood (blue) 

- Anti-aging (red) 

So, what’s the bottom line here? Colors are our doorway to psychological supposition, which is being stored in the complexity of our short-long term memory. If used wisely it gives us an ability to boost our performance, build 

our attention span, relate to others in a coded subtle way. And no, we don’t need to get into details on a daily basis, but simply let the effect wash over us.

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