No matter whether it’s green, commonly associated with nature, or yellow, which stirs warmth and joy, one thing is for certain – all the colors have a psychological influence on the human brain. Still, of all the colors in the spectrum, two are crucial for decision making and behavior – blue and red.
Blue is often linked to beauty and relaxation. For instance, a calm blue sea indicates peace and quiet. In fact, everything blue symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, self-assurance, intelligence, faith, truth and paradise. But, blue is much more than that.
The Color Blue
It’s been scientifically confirmed that blue color calms people, which is why it can be used in many ways.
In 2000, blue lighting was installed in areas with high crime rates in Glasgow, Scotland. Since then, these areas have seen a 9% decrease in crime rates.
A number of leading train companies in Japan are using only blue light on all railway crossings. They have marked a great success – in 2007, the year before blue light was set up, there were 640 suicides by train; but, in 2008, when blue lights were installed, there were zero suicide cases.
According to one theory, blue color has a real, biological effect on the human brain chemistry. In a survey conducted by Harold Wulfart, head of the German Academy of Color Studies, it was found that color lighting psychologically affects both children and adults. But, the most fascinating fact is that color lights affect blind people as well.
Wulfart believes that traits of electromagnetic energy, which is found in color light, have influence on particular neurotransmitters in the brain. When light in certain color is caught by the eye, even when vision is affected, it triggers a gland that secretes melatonin. This hormone causes a reaction that boosts mood while calming emotions.
The Color Red
Red color is often associated with danger. Red is also the color of fire and blood; it’s linked to energy, war, risk, power, determination, as well as passion, lust and love.
In the 80s, red was the color of mysterious, independent women. People even colored their cars red with the hope that they’ll run faster. People used to associate different things with red color, and science today proves that most of these were actually true.
A number of human behavior studies have proved that red color significantly affects our respiratory and cardiovascular systems. In other words, it triggers a feeling of increased consciousness, which is why people behave more impulsively, even more aggressively.
This is one of the reasons why red color is often found in bars and restaurants. Red color triggers hasty decisions that aren’t much thought-through. It could easily be declared the international color of bad decision-making.
But, if it only makes us more impulsive, why is red used in the STOP sign? Physiological reactions – faster heartbeat and breathing, triggered by the red color, also help people to be more alert, similarly to a strong coffee. A study conducted at the University of British Columbia found that red color makes us stay focused on an object, increases our attention to detail and at the same time our performance.
The stimulus provided by this color is often compared to the effects of cocaine as red also speed up your pulse and consciousness level. This implies that you could be drugged by ‘red’ without even knowing.