Thursday, February 5, 2009

What About Purple?

Purple's been my favorite color since I was like 5 (which probably should've been a tip off to my imperial queer nature)
Which really has nothing to do with the following article from the New York Times about red and blue, though lacking any research and study on their union did seem lacking and left me wanting, but really what doesn't?
Moving on, from the grey lady

the color red can make people’s work more accurate, but blue can make people more creative.
Participants performed tasks with words or images displayed against red, blue or neutral backgrounds on computer screens.

Red groups did better on tests of recall and attention to detail, like remembering words or checking spelling and punctuation. Blue groups did better on tests requiring imagination: inventing creative uses for a brick or creating toys from shapes.

“If you’re talking about wanting enhanced memory for something like proofreading skills, then a red color should be used,” said Juliet Zhu, an assistant professor of marketing at the university’s business school, who conducted the studies with Ravi Mehta, a doctoral student. For “a brainstorming session for a new product or coming up with a new solution to fight child obesity or teenage smoking, then you should get people into a blue room.”
anthropologists at Durham University in England found that athletes in the 2004 Olympics who wore red instead of blue in boxing, tae kwon do, Greco-Roman wrestling and freestyle wrestling won 60 percent of the time. The researchers suggested that red, for athletes, as for animals, subconsciously symbolizes dominance.

Perhaps similarly primal effects were revealed in a 2008 study led by Andrew Elliot at the University of Rochester, in which men considered women seen in photographs on red backgrounds or wearing red shirts more attractive than with other colors, although not necessarily more likeable or intelligent.

Then there was the cocktail party study, in which a group of interior designers, architects and corporate color scientists built makeshift bars in red, blue or yellow. They found that more people chose the yellow and red rooms over blue, but that blue partygoers stayed longer. Red and yellow guests were more social and active. And while red guests reported feeling hungry and thirsty, yellow guests ate twice as much.
The Science study’s conclusion that red makes people more cautious and detail-oriented coincides with Dr. Elliot’s finding that people shown red test covers before IQ tests did worse than those shown green or neutral colors, and also chose easier questions. IQ tests require more problem-solving than Dr. Zhu’s memory and proofreading questions.

When Dr. Zhu’s subjects were asked what red or blue made them think of, most said that red represented caution, danger or mistakes, while blue symbolized peace and openness. Subjects were quicker to unscramble anagrams of “avoidance related” words, like “danger,” when the anagrams were on red backgrounds, and quicker with anagrams of positive, “approach related” words, like “adventure,” when they were on blue backgrounds.

The study also tested responses to advertising, finding that ads listing product details or stressing “avoidance” qualities like cavity prevention appealed more on red backgrounds, while ads using creative designs or stressing optimistic qualities like “tooth whitening” appealed more on blue.

Does it matter what shade of red or blue? Does light blue spark some sort of more flighty creativity while a dark solid blue speaks to a more pragmatic vision? So many questions. Like "what about purple, yo"?
Anyway the walls in my office are different shades of brown and at my apartment they're (mostly) white- I'm not sure what that says about my creativity or accuracy. As for the colors high school featured red and Duke featured blue so I don't know if I can decide, though I do know I don't think I could handle a red room or a blue room...until I'm president of course.

[UPDATE: I'm not happy with this post, it kinda sucks, so here are some mp3s to make up for it; I'm a giver...and my therapist says I have an unhealthy and unrealistic need for everyone to like me, so there's that

Of Montreal- Purple Rain [mp3]
Tori Amos- Purple Rain [mp3]
The Cure Purple Haze [mp3]
Joni Mitchell- Blue Motel Room [mp3]
Cream- White Room [mp3]

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