Bending your mind… with color?

We all know that color can affect how we feel and react: Cheery colors in a room, of an attractive object, of a glorious sunset — all can have a marked effect on mood and feeling.

But what if the effect goes much deeper? What if exposure to a given color can have effects on you as strong as any physical effect, such as making you physically weaker or stronger? What if exposure to colored lights, objects, or surroundings be used (perhaps by others) to weaken or control you? That would be freaky, scary, potentially deviously manipulative to the point of being dangerous.

And yet serious evidence is mounting that human exposure to color can have deep and irresistible effects on our behavior, judgment, and even physical abilities. Red can affect sexual attraction, while being in a pink room can make you physically weaker, or at least less aggressive. These are not tenets of pop psychology, but based on objective evidence and measurement — the effects are real, some of them so well established that “drunk-tank pink” (RGB=255,145,175 or #ff91af, for those who want to play with HTML RGB colors) is used in thousands of jail cells worldwide, with the authorities reporting remarkable results in de-fusing the offenders.

But what can be used also be abused? Can the powerful effects of color be used to surreptitiously control or manipulate? Could color exposure be used to affect business negotiations, the behavior of children, the decisions of a judge or jury? One cannot but wonder — and scheme?

No doubt some will, and probably already do. How are you being (unknowingly) affected?

Savvy paranoia indeed. Yes, indeed. But no need to worry, just be happy. Happy, happy, happy.

One thought on “Bending your mind… with color?

  1. I remember learning about this when I was studying psychology in college. I remember learning that some companies use this to influence the behavior of their workers. For example, they will paint the worker’s lounge or the area around the coffee dispenser in bright, warm colors. This will serve to keep workers from lingering in these areas. If they painted these areas, say in a “baby blue” color or light green (both “cool” colors), for example, people would feel more relaxed and would be more likely to linger there, which would be counterproductive to company management who wants the workers back at their stations ASAP.

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