How Do Color and Personality Relate to Each Other?

August 17, 2019
Color and personality are quite strongly related. Our preferences for certain colors usually correlate with specific personality patterns. In today's article, learn about this fascinating aspect of human psychology.

Although many people think that colors aren’t related to feelings, opinions, or behaviors, there are others who strongly believe in the relationship between color and personality. Very few people would choose garments of a color they dislike or paint their living room in that color.

Most people have one or more favorite colors. However, if you ask them the reason for this preference, very few would be able to explain it. Because of this, it does seem that there’s a link between specific personality traits and preferences for one color or another. Research into the psychology of color can deepen our understanding of this subject.

Some colored smoke.

Color and personality: Individual differences

The fact is that each person perceives colors differently and gives them different meanings. There can be physical differences in how our senses perceive colors. This is even more evident if there are conditions such as color blindness. However, each person’s life story also tends to have an influence as to how they associate different colors to specific emotional states.

Because of this, trying to come up with common rules and observations between different people can be quite difficult. It can be even more complicated due to the following reasons:

  • Any given color has different tones – some cooler, and some warmer. Each tone can produce different types of emotional reactions, even though they stem from the same basic color.
  • Sometimes, there’s a dissociation between any given person’s values ​​and preferences. Someone could choose a certain color in one context while preferring a different color in another situation. For example, black can be synonymous with class and elegance for some people, while others may associate it with darkness and grief.

“Let me, O let me bathe my soul in colors; let me swallow the sunset and drink the rainbow.”

-Khalil Gibran-

Studying the relationship between color and personality

In most cases, the color of an object clearly influences people’s choices. However, not a lot of scientific evidence has confirmed it. This is because many of the conclusions drawn from studies are derived from circumstantial evidence.

“Color must be thought, imagined, dreamed.”

-Henri Matisse-

Although no solid scientific evidence validates the relationship between color and personality, there are some globally-accepted principles and phenomena in the field of psychology. For example, there’s a certain consensus when it comes to affirming that the colors a person prefers reflect, to some extent, their psychophysical and cognitive state.

In addition to that, some psychology professionals interested in this topic suggest that, in general, avoiding a particular color isn’t positive. On the contrary, they recommend that we try to incorporate at least a small amount of each color into our lives, as this would seem to indicate a greater psychoaffective balance.

Tell me your color and I’ll tell you your personality

Everything seems to point to the fact that most people usually choose one color over another due to the individual and specific circumstances of each day. These choices are made regarding clothing, decoration, or food, among other things.

Therefore, we could deduce that regularities in our choices of different colors reflect regularities in our personality, and that, because of this, there’s a certain link between color and personality.

What color psychology often brings out is that drastic changes in the choice of one color over another reflects a person’s mood and their life essence.

On the other hand, researchers have hypothesized that the change from one preferred color has another aspect too. With this change, we may be trying to develop new qualities in order to face changed circumstances in our lives.

“Color is life; for a world without color appears to us as dead. Colors are primordial ideas, the children of light.”

-Johannes Itten-

The link between color and personality.

Colors and our personal traits

Finally, here are some personality attributes that psychology, over the years, has associated with specific colors:

  • Red. Suggests willpower, ambition, and energy.
  • Blue. This defines a tendency to maintain the foundation of a fixed set of principles and values and the desire to live according to them.
  • Yellow. This color could indicate a dreamy and perfectionist personality.
  • Green. This color suggests a strong preference for security and recognition.
  • Orange. We can associate this color with a constant desire to interrelate and spend time with other people.
  • Black. This is related to willpower and independence.
  • Brown. This suggests a desire for a simple life and for the formation of strong bonds of friendship.
  • White. People with this personality typology seek simplicity, openness, and purity.