Note: This topic covers a lot of information. To give you a more comfortable reading experience, the results will be paced out into separate posts. This post is an overview of the Color Psychology Questionnaire results with explanation of what the questionnaire is all about, plus tips on how to read and analyze the information you’ll find in the results. Click here to skip to the table of contents and begin reading the results.


*This post may contain affiliate links. If you decide to make any purchases through my affiliate links, i’ll earn a commission at no extra cost to you.

It was so enjoyable reading all of your answers on the color psychology questionnaire! Some were surprising (Could orange be peaceful?; Could yellow be boring?), and others were pretty by-the-book, universally relatable (Red is passionate; Blue ranks as the top liked color; Gray is reminiscent of cloudy skies and seasonal depression).
I might use the data collected from this in future blog posts because, though there was not a huge sample of opinions (28 of you participated), there is still a lot that can be analyzed from it that can’t all be covered in this one post. I’d also love to do this again someday on a smaller scale (One color at a time…Sorry if 12 was too much all at once!) and with more participants.

I’m excited to share with you the results, as well as further color psychology research to complement our study (just a little)! Sorry that it took so much time–the last few months have been full of busy packing, unpacking and settling into my family’s new home, figuring out remotely working at home with my dad (and quitting not much later due to heavy anxiety), dealing with lots of sickness, exhaustion and depression, planning the future of this blog, and getting my Poshmark closet relaunched in effort to start making money again. It’s been nothing short of crazy. We’re still getting to know our new town and getting a feel for our new lives.

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Before we get started:

Color psychology is very personal, can differ culture to culture, and changes throughout time, so (besides this also being a small study) this post is in no way definitive and in this case, what’s true to one may not be to another. The contents of this post are the result of a questionnaire put together for the purpose of engaging the minds of its participants, to get them thinking about their own feelings about colors so they can use them to express themselves through how they dress. I hope you all will think about this for yourselves, too, as you browse this post!

If you didn’t participate in the questionnaire, let me catch you up.

Each color had the same five questions:

  1. Do you like the color ___? (Yes, No, Only Certain Shades)
  2. What are your feelings associated with the color ___? (Positive, Negative, Neutral, or Mixed)
  3. Select all emotions you have experienced with the sight, or thought, of the color ___: (Happiness, Sadness, Depression, Fear, Compassion, Anger, Bitterness, Boredom, Excitement, Amusement, Stress, Peace, Admiration, Disgust, Sensuality, Passion, Playfulness, Confidence, Insecurity, Security, Trust, Suspicion, Mysteriousness, Comfort, Motivation, Laziness, None, Other [please note any other emotions])
  4. What objects or ideas first come to mind when you think about the color ___? (Space for Participant to write)
  5. Anything else you’d like to share about your experience with this color? (Space for Participant to write)

#1 and #2 probably seem like very similar questions, if not the same, at first thought. But i felt it was important to use both–they are definitely not the same! I asked them because you could dislike a color aesthetically, but not have negative feelings about it. Or you could think a color is pretty, but perhaps it reminds you of a bad memory, so your associated feelings are really not positive. The answers mostly reflect that this was understood–but i still should have explained it in the questionnaire because the results may be off a bit from varied understandings of what the questions meant. #Semantics.
#3, #4, and #5 all potentially allow a closer look at why the emotional associations are what was chosen by the individual; #3 looks at a set of specific feelings (I tried to think of as many likely possibilities as i could to make it simple for the participant to select what fits, still leaving space for the participant’s own ideas), while #4 and #5 leave it up to the individual to fill us in on any other associations their minds come up with…This can allow deeper understanding.
There are many other questions that would have been useful to ask, like: “What Country are you from?” and “What do you think the meaning of this color is to your society?” (which both would have allowed a look into cultural differences), as well as collecting info on age groups…to mention just a few of many. But, as much as i would have enjoyed getting to look at information like that, i believe it would have added too much complication. Maybe in the future, we could study more of this. For now, i just hope this has been an eye-opening experience for you, which perhaps allowed you to understand yourself on a slightly deeper level.

Shhhh…this is a secret jumplink code.

Categorizing Psychological Associations of Color

“Color associations exist by the score. Man finds in the hues of the spectrum emotional analogies with sounds, shapes and forms, odors, tastes. Color expressions work their way into language, symbolism, tradition, and superstition. The reason is probably that the sensation of color is of a primitive order. Reaction to it, appreciation of it, requires little effort of intellect or imagination. Color conveys moods which attach themselves quite automatically to human feeling. It is part and parcel with the psychic make-up of human beings.” – Faber Birren, functional color expert (Color Psychology and Color Therapy, pg 162)

When it comes to color symbolism (though, i believe this about many things), if we want to more easily understand the “Why” behind associations, i think it’s important to break them into categories. I’ll start broadly with two (making these up…): Direct associations and Indirect associations.

Direct associations are easiest to understand. They relate the color to an object that is in that color. Some examples are: Red associated with blood and the heart, Orange associated with an orange (the fruit…which also is easily associated based on it sharing the same name.), and Black associated with darkness.

Indirect associations have more to do with emotions and ideas. They are highly conceptual and can often be better understood through alike Direct associations. Some examples are: the heart is red and commonly used to symbolize love and passion, therefore Red is associated with love. Oranges are orange and are energizing–so the color Orange can be associated with energy. And in the dark everything looks black, and that darkness and lack of ability to see what’s around you can be scary–so Black often symbolizes fear and lurking evils. (Of course, it isn’t always that easy to understand where the ideas come from, and i’m not suggesting, for instance, that a person’s reasoning for considering orange to be energizing IS because of the fruit–there could be plenty of other symbolic, physiological, or personal reasons–but it’s a clue, especially in instances where the number of similar/same results is high).

I will also be sorting associations that are In Between Direct and Indirect–these will be the results that are conceptual while still being visual, such as holidays (Decorations, for example, have color, but the ideas and days themselves do not) and ideas thought of in colors because they are used globally, such as in signs (Stop, Yield, Construction, Warning etc).

There are different ways color associations could be categorized, but i feel this is best for this post since it separates the abstract from the visual, simplifying and giving clear space to analyze. As complicated as we are as humans, and as complex as our brains are, we really are simple in our ways of trying to understand the world around us–We rely on our tangible senses (Sight, touch, hearing, taste, smell…Especially sight..) and tend to try to make sense of everything else based off of those things. Deep down, we want to understand, and we use what we’ve got in front of us. We have long used color in attempts to make sense of the world, as Faber Birren put it:

“Historical records of color show little interest in the physical nature of color, nor yet in its abstract beauty, but in a symbolism that attempted to resolve the strange workings of creation and give it personal and human meaning.” (Color Psychology and Color Therapy, pg 3. Emphasis added).

We still do this to an extent, despite our thoughts now leaning more to the aesthetic when considering colors. Using the tangible to explain the intangible makes conceptual things easier to talk about. Color is very tangible. I think we also mainly do the same thing in our subconscious creation of color symbolism–we use our understanding of tangible objects to add meaning to color…and then use color to make sense of the less tangible thoughts.

So, i feel that looking at associations as Direct, Indirect, and In Between allows us to more easily get to the point and makes it easier to understand. Besides, the focus of this post is on how colors make us feel (which is abstract and conceptual) and why, and for the purpose of applying it back into fashion (a visual art), so focusing on the visual is in our favor.

Shhhh…this is a secret jumplink code because it didn’t work putting it anywhere else.

Now We Can Begin!

This is going to be a long post, so i recommend navigating first to your favorite and then your least favorite colors. Then you can continue to enjoy reading the results or bookmark to read later on.

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(Click any section below to be redirected the the correct post)

Before We Begin:
Information About Questionnaire
Categorizing Associations
Color Questionnaire Results:
Warm Colors
Cool Colors
Neutral Colors
All References

*This post may contain affiliate links. If you decide to make any purchases through my affiliate links, i’ll earn a commission at no extra cost to you.


Visual Sneak Peek of Results:



























Return to Table of Contents

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References and Additional Reading:

All quotes from “Participants” or “Respondents” (interchangeable meaning), as well as answers shown in charts, come from the thoughts and opinions submitted by readers to my Color Psychology Questionnaires.

Albee, Sarah: “The Color Purple.” Blog post. Sarah Albee Books. April 05, 2012.

Andrews, Evan: “Why Is Purple Considered the Color of Royalty?” Blog post. A&E Television Networks. July 15, 2015.

Archer, Sarah: “A Western Cultural History of Pink, from Madame De Pompadour to Pussy Hats.” Blog post. Hyperallergic. February 19, 2017.

Birren, Faber: “Color Psychology and Color Therapy”.

Centeno, Antonio: “5 Reasons All Men Should Wear Pink | The Real Masculine Color.” Blog post. Real Men Real Style. November 28, 2016.

Coscarelli, Alyssa: “The Fashion Week Trends That Will Show Up In Fast-Fashion.” Page 46. Blog post. Refinery29. February 28, 2017.

Eysenck, H.J.: “A Critical and Experimental Study of Colour Preferences”. American Journal of Psychology. July, 1941.

Hammond, Claudia: “Future – The ‘Pink vs Blue’ Gender Myth.” Online magazine. BBC. November 18, 2014.

Kandinsky, Wassily: “The Art of Spiritual Harmony”.

Ljungström, Maria: “Beige Färg = Boring ??? / BEIGE = BORING???” Blog post. Inredningsvis. December 29, 2015.

Maglaty, Jeanne: “When Did Girls Start Wearing Pink?” Online magazine. Smithsonian Institution, 07 Apr. 2011.

McKay, Brett and Kate: “Can Men Wear Pink?” Blog post. The Art of Manliness. July 26, 2016.

Nicholson, George: “How To Wear Pink for Men.” Blog Post. The Idle Man. May 09, 2017.

Shpancer, Noam: “Red Alert: Science Discovers The Color of Sexual Attraction.” Online magazine. Psychology Today. Sussex Publishers. January 10, 2013.

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