Your Favorite Color is Blue, But That Can Change

The science of color preference among people tells us that the most often cited favorite color among adults is blue, although people often describe different shades of blue. Why is that?  Experiments show that “favorite” colors are anything but innate. They are influenced by association. In other words, we like blue because we like blue things, and we are also exposed to a lot of blue things. Blue is the color of the sky and the ocean, and our planet as a whole. Blue clothing rarely clashes with any skin color, and our jeans are dyed blue, so clothing choices are often dominated by blue. Our least favorite color, as a species, is yellowish-brown, the color of rot or excrement. One experiment showed that a color preference can change in over a rather short period of time when the choices are presented in context, as in people will cite a love for red when shown pictures of strawberries, but not when shown pictures of blood. They will like green when shown a garden, but not when shown pond scum.

Color preferences will change with time, too. Girls like pink between toddlerhood and middle school, because their favorite objects tend to be colored pink, but then other colors take precedence. Young boys as a whole avoid pink because it associated with girl’s things, but those preferences are not universal. And even adults will adjust color preference with the seasons of the year. The only time yellowish-brown evokes good feelings is in autumn, for reasons you can read about at BBC Future. -via Metafilter

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Source: neatorama

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