The following post is part of a series on how colors affect us. Much of the information contained is thanks to my wonderful readers who took the time to think about how they feel about various colors, submitting their opinions into my questionnaire. My hope is that it will cause you to think about colors in your own life, and inspire you in how you decide which colors you choose to wear each day.

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Series Contents:

Spectrum of Truth: Food for Thought | Is Truth Really Black and White?
Questionnaire Post
Overview Post

Before We Begin:
Information About Questionnaire
Categorizing Associations
Color Questionnaire Results (Contents):
Warm Colors
Cool Colors
Neutral Colors

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*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.


Feelings of Red

A bold and invigorating color. Exciting, playful, full of life. Eliciting a mix of thoughts, including those of danger, romance, and childhood. Ranking second in the world’s favorite colors (according to mass research of H.J. Eysenck and many others), especially liked by extroverts, and long considered to be the most powerful and passionate color–whether passionately romantic, angry, or otherwise exciting; Red, through this questionnaire, has shown itself well liked and a favorite for expressing confidence (though purple came so close in this questionnaire, ranking highest by percentage!).

The associations it has with passion may have to do in part with the way our skin tends to flush red when experiencing strong emotions, as well as the fury of fire and the lifeforce of the cardiovascular system. One participant commented about wearing red: “I feel sexier”, which makes sense as red is known and proven to increase sexual attraction.

Feelings were still rather mixed: being associated with blood, some experience disgust or fear. Used tampons were mentioned as something that comes to mind, and one respondent said, “I don’t really like it. I guess cause blood is red, it instills a type of discomfort in me.” Another acknowledged that “It seems to be used to describe negative emotions” (They also mentioned frequent usage of the color in fast food).

Additional comments:
“It … shows up in a lot of fast food places.”
“Iove it in clothes”
“It’s one of my favorite colors and one of the few select colors that look good on me smh xD”
“Red shades that start to learn towards orange are off-putting to me.”
“I love red!”
“I’ve always loved this colour, reminds me of the changing leaves in the autumn”
“My family uses the color red for their business. I have grown up with the color red representing everything that my family does.”

Do you like the color red

“Do you like the color red?”: 18 said “Yes”, 3 said “No”, 7 said “Only certain shades”.

What are your feelings associated with the color red

“What are your feelings associated with the color red?”: 9 said “Positive”, 0 said “Negative”, 5 said “Neutral”, said 13 “Mixed”.

Emotions experienced with the color red

Excitement and Passion ranked highest with over 20 selections; Anger, Confidence, Sensuality, and Playfulness next with over 10; and notably: three individuals selected “Other” and wrote in “Love”.
0 selected: Depression, Boredom, Peace, Disgust, Suspicion, Comfort, Laziness, and None.


Direct – Food/Drink (8) (“Apples” x3, “Strawberries” x2, “Wine”, Candy: “Cherry lollipops/gummy bears”, “Raspberries”), Fire (5), Blood (4) (“Blood” x2, “Used tampons”, also mentioned in an additional comment), Roses (3), Hearts (3), Stop signs (2), Lipstick (2), Shoes (1), Clowns (1), Target (1), Children’s toys (1), Playgrounds (1), Primary colours (1).
In Between – Passion (4) (“Passion”, “Anger”, “Excitement”, “s-e-x”), Family (2) (“Family”, “My sister”), Warnings (1), Brightness (1), Valentines Day (1), Christmas (1).
Indirect – Love (2), Cheerfulness (1), Fear (1), Power (1), Warmth (1).

Visual representations of associations:

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Feelings of Orange1


Orange is probably the hardest color to wear–if not just perceived to be the hardest–and it’s trending for Fall 2017! I personally like the surprise. I look forward to hopefully seeing more of it this summer and autumn. Orange is a unique color in fashion. In this questionnaire, one answered that the color itself implies uniqueness. I know that i rarely ever see anybody wearing this color, and when i do, i get the idea that they are confident in who they are and don’t care too much for what others think.

It’s a strongly bold color with a lot of energy, and finding a shade that looks good on you and still feels like orange can be tricky. That might make a good post on its own as fall approaches. One associated orange with “gross colors that looks awful on me”
Another said:
“Although orange is typically a very positive and uplifting color, there are some shades– much like rust orange, which is often a color associated with negative circumstances which encourage fear. (E.g. The color of the skies in the worst of my nightmares.)”.

Another very notable comment was that “It’s just neutral. It gives me a sort of calm and relaxation.”

Orange, being a mixture of the boldness of red and cheerfulness of yellow, typically would be considered the opposite of calm–this answer perplexed me. So, being that i was reading studies and books written by color experts, such as Faber Birren, during the time of seeing these responses, i felt the need to run my own mini-experiment on myself. (Of course, i’m no scientist and could have skewed the results in multiple ways–so, grain of salt with this, please. 😀 This was out of intrigue only.)

They (color scientists) strongly advocate and commonly use colored lights in color -psychology and -physiology tests because it better saturates the subject in the color being tested (Color Psychology and Color Therapy, pg 147), so this is what i did as well with my Ilumi LED light bulbs. Tested each color multiple times, lying down looking at the saturated room for several minutes each and recording my heart rate on my phone. Unfortunately, i don’t have the numbers anymore because my phone deleted them :(, but i was surprised that my heart rate was lowest with orange and i felt most relaxed.
I have to wonder if i was subconsciously creating this feeling of relaxation from the color orange, out of knowing and thinking of the above comment. But, i also have to wonder whether we’ve conditioned ourselves to think orange is powerfully energetic when maybe there’s more to it than that. I mean, come on–sunsets?! Often orange. Very relaxing.

What do you think? And, the participant that commenting on orange being relaxing, if you are still around i’d love to hear more of what you meant! 🙂

Feelings of Orange

Additional Comments:
“The obvious answer is the fruit and honestly that’s about all that comes to mind.”
“I have a very strong aversion to the color orange for highly personal reasons.”
“Everyone loves it … I hate it”
“Beautiful sunsets”

Do you like the color orange

“Do you like the color orange?”: 15 said “Yes”, 6 said “No”, 3 said “Only certain shades”.

What are your feelings associated with the color orange

“What are your feelings associated with the color orange?”: 12 said “Positive”, 1 said “Negative”, 7 said “Neutral”, 4 said “Mixed”.

Emotions experienced with the color orange

Playfulness and Happiness ranked highest, both with 17; Amusement next with 11; Motivation and Excitement with 9; and Bitterness with 5 (the only negative answer with more than 3 in agreement).
0 selected: Fear, Sensuality, Insecurity, and Other.


Direct – Foods (15) (“Oranges – the fruit” x10, “Pumpkins” x2, “Food”, “Fruit”, “Creamsicles”), Flowers (3), Medicine (1), Sun (1), Traffic Cones (1).
In Between – Halloween (2), Football (2) (“Football”, “San Francisco Giants”), Fall (1).
Indirect – “My Mother” (1), Laughter (1), Energy (1), Everyone Loves It (1), Nothing (1), Uniqueness (1).

Visual representations of associations:

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Feelings of Yellow





Yellow, across the globe, is quite possibly known as THE color of happiness. It brings out thoughts of sunshine, smiles (especially thanks to emojis), youthfulness and childhood (yellow is a top favorite color particularly among young children). One participant cheerfully said of the color: “It makes me happy; Bright as the sun! It makes me smile.” Another echoed saying, “It makes me feel happy”. Though, to some, it might be too happy and too playful.

Unusual and notable mention: boredom came up in the choices for associated emotions. I have to ask: if the three of you who voted that yellow is boring have come back and are reading this, could you explain to me why you feel it is?
I understand a person not liking yellow–it and orange actually rank as the least favorite color choices (among adults) according to a large study done by Psychologist, H.J. Eysenck. It’s a powerfully bright color that looses it’s attractiveness to many as we age. One participant said:
“Yellow has always been a rather overwhelming color for me. It’s very typical for it to stress me out when it’s a solid slap of yellow, especially on websites or high-pressure situations.”
And an artist, Wassily Kandinsky, disliked it enough to say of it:
“Yellow is the typically earthly color. It can never have profound meaning. An intermixture of blue makes it a sickly color. It may be paralleled in human nature with madness, not with melancholy or hypochondriacal mania, but rather with violent, raving lunacy.” (Kandinsky, Wassily: The Art of Spiritual Harmony)
–But boredom? I would love to understand.

Additional comments:
“Hate it”
“Jennie [friend] is obsessed with it”
“my favorite color!”

Do you like the color yellow

“Do you like the color yellow?”: 10 said “Yes”, 3 said “No”, 9 said “Only certain shades”.

What are your feelings associated with the color yellow

“What are your feelings associated with the color Yellow?”: 16 said “Positive”, 0 said “Negative”, 3 said “Neutral”, 3 said “Mixed”.

Emotions experienced with the color yellow

Happiness ranked highest with 18; Playfulness following closely behind with 15; Excitement with 13.
0 selected: Sadness, Fear, Anger, Sensuality, Passion, Mysterious, Other, and None.


Direct – Light (13) (“Light”, “Sun” x8, “Sunshine” x3), Lemons (3), Flowers (5) (“Flowers x3, “Sunflowers” x2), Smiley Face Emojis (1), “My Favorite Chair” (1), Paint on the Wall (1), Big Bird (1), Bananas (1), Dishes (1), Pee (1), the Moon (1), Yoga Mats (1), Picture Frames (1).
In Between – Smiles (1), Hazards (1), Fall (1), Vintage (1), Baby Showers/nurseries (1), Summer (1).
Indirect – Friends (2) (“One of My Friends”, also mentioned in another person’s additional comments), Cheerfulness (1), Happiness (1), Childishness/immaturity (1), Freshness (1).

Visual representations of associations:

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Feelings of Pink





The only color in this questionnaire that was considered to have a gender: pink came out to be decidedly feminine. Whether this is a positive or negative thing turned out to be personal, controversial, and definitely up for discussion.

In appreciation of pink’s feminine qualities, one said “It’s my favorite color; it makes me happy, and it makes me feel feminine.”, and another proclaimed “A girly-girl at heart, pink will always bring a smile to my face and my heart.”
But, as i said, the results were controversial. One (who does not like pink, experiences disgust over it, and associates it with Gender roles and Pepto Bismol) put it this way: “Pink is the color pushed on girls and I detest that!”. Three separate individuals mentioned the negative emotions of Boredom, Disgust, Weakness (Custom choice typed in “Other”), and Laziness–though very personal, with only one vote each, it’s not to be ignored. Does pink hold cookie-cutter ideas of what it means to be a woman, and only a woman?

If i can give my two-cents: i’d say pink is up for a revolution. Who says pink should be a girls-only color? Did you know pink used to be a very acceptable color used for baby boys, particularly prior to 20th-century consumerism turning it into a classic for females of all ages? Pink is both energetic and sweet. Powerful and gentle. In recent months, it has been used as a political symbol in protest for women’s rights. We’ve also seen more acceptance and promotion of males wearing it once again (#ToughGuysWearPink, #MenWearPink, #RealMenWearPink). There’s no need for it to be used to push gender roles. We can change that. It’s changed before. There’s also still plenty of room for its “Feminine” symbolism of sweetness to remain, whether we consider that particularly female or not.

What are your thoughts?

Additional Comments:
“I love Pink, and the brand lol”
“Love it! ”
“It’s my favorite”

Do you like the color pink

“Do you like the color pink?”: 6 said “Yes”, 1 said “No”, 7 said “Only certain shades”.

What are your feelings associated with the color pink

“What are your feelings associated with the color pink?”: 9 said “Positive”, 0 said “Negative”, 4 said “Neutral”, 1 said “Mixed”.

Emotions experienced with the color pink

Playfulness ranked highest with 9; Peace with 7; Happiness with 6; Confidence with 5; Compassion, Security, and Comfort with 4; and, notably, one wrote in “Weakness”.
0 selected: Sadness, Depression, Fear, Anger, Bitterness, Stress, Insecurity, Suspicion, Mysteriousness


Direct – Candy (2) (“Candy”, “Cotton Candy”), Pigs (2), Pepto Bismol (1), Sunsets (1).
In Between – Gender Roles (7) (“Girliness” x2, “Being a Girly – Girl”, “Pre-Teen Girls”, “Girl Clothes”, “Femininity”, “Gender Roles”), Babies (3) (“Babies” x2, “Baby Items”), Barbie (1), Ballet (1), Valentines Day (1), Pretty in Pink (1), “Strawberries (even Though They’re Red Lol)” (1).
Indirect – Boldness (“Bold … Hot Pink”) (1), Sense of Weakness (1), Love (1).

Visual representations of associations:

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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.

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”.

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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