Man, watch your colors

Why do we see colors??

The world of colors is an illusion. Our color perception results from the cooperation between eyes and brain – with the help of stored knowledge and experiences, personal mood and state of mind.

Color vision in the eye is a physiological and a psychological Process. The physiological or biochemical process begins directly in the eye. Vision is only possible with light – when light rays hit an object, they are reflected by it and finally reach our eye. In the eye, light rays pass through several layers and finally reach the retina. The retina plays an important role for color vision. It is composed of over 100 million photoreceptors, which can be divided into two different types: Cones and rods (so-called. photoreceptors).

The cones (ca. 6 million) perceive the red, blue and green components in the retina. The light-sensitive rods (ca. 120 million) are responsible for light/dark vision, spatial depth and contrasts. when it is dark, they do most of the work, the cones are then no longer active. This is the reason why we do not see colors in the dark. When light reflected from an object enters the eye and hits the rods and cones, they absorb the wavelengths that are suitable for them. They react to this with an electrical impulse. This is transmitted via the optic nerve to the brain – the brain processes the impulses of the receptors to a color and/or to light and dark vision. The information of the receptors is mixed with each other and finally results in a color known to us in the brain.

Our eyes perceive more than 200 different color tones, distinguish naturally between the finest nuances, and are familiar with more than 20 saturation and 500 brightness levels. So it is possible for us to see in a palette of several million color valences. This individual color correction is also responsible for the fact that we perceive colors differently. And not only that.

Colors and emotions

These signals of the photoreceptors are thus passed on to the brain. Via the cortex to the emotional center (midbrain=part of the limbic system, responsible for all feelings, such as joy, anger, love, lust and sadness, etc.).). There it is decided which color information reaches our consciousness. Color perception is closely related to our feelings.

Colors cause automatically triggered sensations, such as light or heavy, cold or warm, from which

Variety of colors Seeing colors

again feelings arise like pleasant or unpleasant, friendly or unfriendly etc. So on the one hand there are the pure subjective perception, but it was found that certain colors have the same collectively effective patterns of perception and behavior trigger. For example, a blue environment makes us feel cold, while red tones convey the opposite. This cold-warm contrast is presumably based on the natural observations of human. Blue=water/ice, Red=fire.

Worldwide people associate colors with feelings, and essentially the same colors with the same feelings. (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, study with about 4600 test persons from 30 nations on the connection between colors and emotions).) Red stands for love, but also for anger. Yellow brings joy, and brown is emotionally unaffecting.

The influence of colors on people has been scientifically proven long ago

Colors also massively interfere with biochemical and physical processes of the human body, influence heartbeat, pulse and breathing rate increase or decrease blood pressure, make injuries heal slower or faster. They can create fear, aggression but also calmness. Therefore these realizations are considered in the meantime in medical ranges just like as well known in the interior decoration and advertisement.

In advertising, our comsum behavior is specifically controlled by colors/color combinations. "The color of a product can convince us that it tastes fresher than the same product in a different color. For example, researchers have found links between certain colors and behaviors, including that red, royal blue, black and orange easily appeal to spontaneous buyers. For bargain hunters, blue-green and navy blue are the colors of choice. Many of these less obvious color associations make perfect sense, such as pink, sky blue and other soft colors that connect with more traditional clothing buyers. Similarly, brown is not a good choice for fruit and vegetable packaging because it makes us think of overripe, rotten fruits and vegetables." (Source: The effect of colors in marketing and advertising – Guide (

Colors affect our health

As already reported, colors are transformed into feelings in the midbrain. At the same time they are converted into impulses, which can influence many functions in the organism.

Red is the color of vitality: the nervous system releases more adrenaline when red is present. Breathing more rapidly, pulse and blood pressure increase, heartbeat accelerates.

Blue has a calming effect, the adrenaline release is slowed down. Breathing slows down, pulse and blood pressure drop, heartbeat slows down, muscles relax and unclench.

Blue plates are even said to cause us to eat more slowly, aiding weight loss. The red plate spoils our appetite. Red also means danger for us and is seen as toxic.

Green Can help activate concentration and thinking. Like blue, it is a health color that relaxes without putting you to sleep. Green soothes us and reduces physical activity.

Color as a source of information

People decide within a few seconds whether they find a person likeable, can trust him or want to buy a product. About 62 – 90 percent of our decisions are based on color alone. The careful and conscious use of colors can therefore help to influence moods and feelings – positively or negatively. (Study Impact of color on marketing | Emerald Insight)

Colors have an external effect (keyword: collectively effective patterns of perception and behavior) and an internal effect. As soon as we wear colors that emphasize our personality, we visibly feel good and our self-confidence is increased. This shows in our appearance, but also how our environment reacts positively to us.

Colors in business

Likewise we can use colors consciously and purposefully in business. Colors have their own language and

Business colors

show our environment what we stand for (z. B. red=dominance), how we see ourselves (gray="gray mouse", Black=distinction/power) and what it can expect from us (blue=trust color, yellow=creativity/openness). Within seconds we form a picture of our counterpart. This also happens automatically. Here our brain again reaches into the emotional box and taps into the stored knowledge. Experience, personal mood and state of mind all factor in and we form a picture of whether our counterpart is Are trustworthy and likeable, or aggressive and sneaky. (This was determined in 2012 by the Italian research team around Tessa Marzi from the University of Florence in a study.) The second assessment, on the other hand, is aimed at the social status of the other person, as Alexander Todorov (professor at Princeton University) says: Is the unknown person superior, strong, dominant, competent??

Here plays naturally beside the clothes, also above all the eye contact, smile, attitude& Body language, the gestures, facial expressions and the smell. Competence is determined, for example, by factors such as titles, status, physique, clothing or luxury items, as well as the environment and personality traits. According to this, we people judge whether we want to cooperate and interact with the persons.

When people like each other and find each other sympathetic? (according to Aronson)

  • external and internal parallels (e.g.B. clothing, hairstyle)
  • the feeling of closeness and pleasant appearance are based on emotional warmth
  • Intelligence (expectation of competence)
  • Physical attractiveness *
  • Shared values
  • Attention (eye contact, facial expressions and gestures)
  • ..

(*There is an attractiveness bonus for good looks, power, wealth, social prestige. These influence the sympathy values.)

We attain good looks through our clothes resp. the colors/color harmonies, which can either positively emphasize our personality. As soon as a person dresses well, that is, has a harmonious appearance, we perceive him as attractive.

Study: People follow others only when they appear authoritarian

Behavioral scientists proved in an experiment that people are unconsciously influenced by the clothing others to be influenced: In the first attempt, an actor wore a suit, in the second, old and torn casual clothes. The person should then in the different outfits, cross a red traffic light.

The result: When the man was well dressed, numerous people followed him through the red light. They were unconsciously under the impression that it was okay to follow an authority figure. With the casual outfit, however, no one followed the man.

The wonderful world of colors
colors sun reflection

We are influenced by colors and can influence other people with them. The more you pay attention to the colors, the more exciting it becomes to use them in a targeted way.

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