Marjorie JamesMuch of the “science” of chromotherapy is anecdotal, as I discussed in my last blog. Consequently, many professionals do not buy into the concept. However, what research there is has found that color can impact people in a variety of surprising ways.

  • One study found that warm-colored (red-toned) placebo pills were reported as more effective than cool-colored (blue-toned) placebo pills.
  • Anecdotal evidence has suggested that installing blue-colored streetlights can lead to a reduction of crime in some areas.
  • The temperature of the environment might play a role in color preference. People who are toasty and warm tend to list cool colors as their favorites, while people who are cold prefer warmer colors. Just look at the difference in fall and spring clothing colors, and you will see how this shows up.
  • Studies have also shown that certain colors can have an impact on performance. Exposing students to the color red prior to an exam has been shown to have a negative impact on test performance.
  • More recently, researchers discovered that the color red causes people to react with greater speed and force, something that might prove useful during athletic activities (and might make us drive faster in our red convertibles!)
  • One study that looked at historical data found that sports teams dressed in mostly black uniforms are more likely to receive penalties. This makes me think that the Huskies (and other teams) may want to reconsider their new black uniforms!

One year, our school provided us with “bright raspberry” construction paper for the first time. I loved it, so I used it on bulletin boards and covers for the introductory brochures I made for the students. I found hot pink letters and edging at the “teacher store” and put them on bulletin boards I had covered in bright blue. I thought it looked marvelous.

After a while, I realized that the students were more “antsy” than previous students. At first, I chalked it up to the personalities and possible learning challenges of the students I had that year. After Christmas break, when I walked into my room, I got an eyeful. I changed the colors to more muted ones, and believe it or not, the students calmed down!

What is your favorite color? For clothing, mine is blue, although purple is a close second. However, I have nothing blue decorating our home, however. Wonder what that says?

Whatever our favorite, we can enjoy all colors, especially during this season. Revel in the myriad colors and textures around you!

Copyright 2014. Marjorie E. James. All rights reserved.