People Innovation Excellence

What does your favorite color say about you?

Color expresses our inner-self through many ways. It can express how us, as human, remember, experience and feel things. It reminds us of something that we probably love or hate. Even if some of us think that they don’t have one, they still probably naturally drawn to some colors more than others. We still have preferences when we buy things with many choices of colors after all. Talking about one’s favorite color, what color does most of us prefer when we are told to choose from many? According to six months global survey, the shade named Marrs Green was nominated as world’s most favorite color. On the other hand, yellow isn’t preferred by many according to statistics and opaque couché (Keller, 2017) (Technical name: Pantone 448 C) is labeled as most despised color as it represents “tar”, “dirty” and “death”. When choices are given, we tend to pick the color closest to our favorites and it can describe us in many ways. So, what exactly does your favorite color say about you? Is it possible to change your preference of color in the future? How so?Even though it’s partially based on pseudoscience, but the psychology of color might be helpful to answer those questions. Psychology of color itself is a study about how our choice of colors represents or take part in our personalities and behavioral traits.

Color and Personality

Colors can define our personalities although it may not be exact. To discover one’s favorite color, take one color that comes into mind and do not analyze that first choice. It is this instinctual choice of a color that tells you a lot about yourself, how you function and how others see you.It is the means to understanding your behavior and your character traits as well as your physical, mental,  emotional and spiritual states. It reflects the way you operate in the world, your strengths and weaknesses, your vulnerabilities, your deepest needs and your challenges at that time in your life.According to Luscher, who advocates the thesis that the subject with similar color preference may have similar personality traits and the subjects’ psychological reactions/attitude to the primary colors (blue, red, yellow and green) reflect their basic psychological needs. Schaie suggested that the color shades in the spectrum order from red to violet represents a series of emotions, from excitement, unrestraint, direct and prolonged impulsive discharge (red), over calmness (green), to anxiety and concern (violet). While according to Biren, warm colors are associated to energetic and excited moods and between the cool colors corresponding to passive and calm moods.

Color and Color Preferences

According to The Oxford Dictionary color is the property possessed by an object of producing different sensations on the eye as a result of the way it reflects or emits light. It is a sensation of sight caused by electromagnetic waves hitting the retina.  Color preference is related to one’s tendency to prefer some colors over the others. Their preferences depend upon how they feel in any situation, how they want to feel and even related to their personal experiences. If you like more than one color, then you should carefully read the information regarding those colors to find the one that fits you the most. On the contrary, the dislike of a color can describe about yourself as well, especially your weaknesses and vulnerabilities. It is often related to the past or childhood memories that you do not want to recall.Most of us have at least one favorite color and maybe even had the same one since childhood. Some of our choices might stay the same throughout your lifetime, but some would have their preferences changed due to personal experiences or greater knowledges.

  • Orange : Witty, Charming, Spontaneous, Impulsive, Generous, Impactful, Optimistic, Eager, Bold, Immediate and Courageous.
  • Green : Analytical, Global, Conceptual, Cool, Calm, Collected, Inventive, Logical, Problem Solver, Abstract, Creative and Imaginative.
  • Blue : Enthusiastic, Sympathetic, Personal, Warm, Communicative, Compassionate, Idealistic, Spiritual, Sincere, Peaceful, Flexible and Imaginative.
  • Gold : Loyal, Dependable, Prepared, Thorough, Sensible, Punctual, Faithful, Stable, Organized, Caring, Concerned and Helper.

A number of investigations have been conducted on the color preferences based personality categorisation and achievement motivation separately. Yet a minimal research exists that connect or link these two parameters, especially in the corporate sector.

DunjaCigić, Vojislava Bugarski conducted the study on Personality traits and color preferences. The investigation was to find out if there existed any differences in personality traits of subjects grouped according to the color preference criterion. In that study they found that there were personality differences between subjects preferring dark colors (brown, grey and black) and subjects preferring bright colors (red, yellow). Social introversion and neuroticism/ anxiety were more prominent personality traits in subjects who preferred dark colors, while aggression and activity were more prominent in subjects who preferred bright colors.

DivyaGhorawat, Ravina Madan conducted a study to find out whether the color shade preferences of individuals grouped according to their personality types are alike or not. The researchers concluded that there was no significant correlation found between the personality types and color shade preferences of the subjects except in the case of extroverted males.

Color and Personality- Strong’s Interest Inventory and Cattell’s 16PF (Rense Lange, Jason Rentfrow): The research was intended to identify links between people’s color preferences and their personal characteristics as derived from two well- established psychological inventories. The findings clearly indicate that people’s color preferences as assessed through the Dewey Color System Test do provide meaningful information about their personalities, interpersonal styles, and behaviours. In particular, the data indicated that this test predicted with considerable precision all six of the Basic Interest Scales of Strong’s Interest Inventory (Harmon, et al., 1994), and nearly all of the sixteen Primary Factors of Cattell’s 16PF (Russel & Karol, 2002).

Ekta Sharma conducted a study to show that the achievement motivation is a function of the Big five traits. As per the five factors model of personality people with high conscientiousness are considered as an organized, focused and timely achiever of their goals. So, the result is that conscientiousness is significantly related to achievement motivation.

A Quick Measure of Achievement Motivation (JJ Ray, Australian Psychologist, Vol. 14, No. 3, November 1979): This research paper was the primary information source and test tool used in this journal. A shorter version of the Ray Achievement Motivation Scale was developed and when tested on seven samples from Sydney, Glasgow, London and Johannesburg it showed reliability over 0.70. General populations’ norms as obtained from afore given four countries revealed that the English, Scots and Australians have almost same level of AM whereas South Africans have significantly higher level of AM.

Color preference is somewhat related to many factors. Psychological factor plays big role to your choice of color and it affects many other things related to one’s personal experiences, dislikes, vulnerabilities or weaknesses, conditions, etc. Blue represents the color of the ocean and is often associated with the feelings of serenity. Those who love blue are often able to find peace and tranquility in places where others do not. Being personality color blue means that you are a calm and cool type. You are conservative, reliable and trustworthy and you trust others although you are not sure in the beginning. At the same time, it is a mutual relation as you also have a need to be trusted. You always think before you speak and all your actions depend on you. You are genuine and sincere and take your responsibilities seriously. You appear to be confident and self-controlled, but may be hiding your vulnerable side. Usually you are even-tempered unless your emotions take over, then you can become either moody and overemotional or cool and indifferent. Having a group consisting your close friends is a must for you as you really need them. You love to help others as you love to be needed but you know that you should love yourself first. Sometimes you can be rigid and it is hard for you to change path. Untidiness and unpredictability overwhelm you. You do not like to draw attention and prefer to stay in the background. In a very subtle way, you can be quite manipulative and it could sometimes lead to a conflict with others.

You can be quite emotional, aware of what others are feeling and sensitive to the moods of others. Usually you would have many friends as you are approachable and friendly. You always want to know more to look smart in front of others. You have great devotion to family, God or other causes that are important to you. You appear to be cautious and worry about every little thing. Blue defines peace and harmony and that is why you have a deep need for those.

If you are among the ones who pick red as their favorite color, it identifies you as extroverted and optimistic, courageous and confident. As orange is close to red, your personalities do not differ that many but might be a little more You are action oriented and physically active as sex is necessity to you. You always want to make lasting impression whenever you meet people because you want to be center of attention. You are ambitious and competitive and always crave to win as second place is not good enough for you. It goes with the saying “It is all or nothing”.  You have a passion and enthusiasm for life and will do whatever it takes to reach your goal and dreams. You lack patience as you are always in hurry, but at the same time, you do not procrastinate. Anger overwhelms you easily and it is the result negative passion and energy. Although you get angry easily, you do not hold grudge.

Green represents balance and nature. It defines you as a down-to-earth, stable and well-balanced person. Balance is a necessity and to achieve that, sometimes you become unsettled and anxious. People with personality color green are usually kind, generous, compassionate, caring, nurturing to others and love to learn. They usually join social groups as they have need to belong, have high moral standards, always do the right thing. They like to be accepted, appreciated and admired for the good things they do. They are definitely not a risk taker and action oriented more like an observer and have tendency to gossip. Their strong point is that they have ability to put themselves in the shoes of others.

Dark color such as black symbolizes prestige and power. As black being monotone color, it represents solitude but at the same time, powerful energy. People who love black usually are independent, strong-willed and determined. They may appear intimidating and take everything seriously. They do not like to appear weak so they tend to hide their vulnerabilities by keeping people at distance. Dark colors do not always represent negativity although some might do.

To conclude this paper, most of us see colors almost with the same perception. It is relatively easy to perceive one’s personality through colors especially the basic ones. Bright colors are usually subjected to aggression and activity while black colors usually defined as solitude and authority. Green represents nature and balance while blue represents serenity. Personalities defined from combination of colors usually appear on the dominant color. That being said, how one acts on daily basis can be seen from their color preferences.


Iwa Sanjaya 2001625616



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