Sadness and Color Perception?

Many of us know someone who is colorblind. It wasn’t until a colorblind employee joined CPG that many of us here gained a new understanding and did independent research to learn amore about it. Wow, we have learned so much!  

A few months ago a video went viral with a man trying on specialized sunglasses and seeing color for the first time. Feeling him experience color for the first time was truly an amazing experience even though it was through the magic of video. The glasses he used for this emotional experience were EnChroma. There is even a test on the website to test yourself (make sure you do it in normal lighting for the most accurate results).

This inspired us to hunt for research around the psychology of colorblindness, and we happened upon some new and interesting research in the area. The research isn’t centered around people who generally are considered color-blind, but more is focused on emotional impairment in the perception of color. It is fascinating. While using color to subtle manipulate emotion is something we have all heard of, emotion influencing the perception if color is relatively unheard of to the laymen.

The authors of the research experimented by emotionally manipulating participants with video clips. Here is a quote from the abstract: “We did this by experimentally manipulating emotion with video clips in two experiments (specifically, sadness and amusement in Experiment 1, and sadness and neutral emotion in Experiment 2) and measuring color perception (specifically, accuracy in identifying desaturated colors). The results of both experiments showed that sadness impaired color perception along the blue-yellow color axis but not along the red-green color axis.”





Photo Courtesy of Ryan Mitchell






About the Author:


Cognitive Performance Group, LLC is a woman-owned small business with offices in Orlando, Florida, and Cleveland, Ohio. It was founded by Dr. Karol G. Ross, Jennifer K. Phillips, and William A. Ross. The three CPG Principals developed the concept for a company to support cognitive performance improvement in industry and government. (more...)

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