The emotional connotations of color: a qualitative investigation

T. Clarke, Alan Costall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Typically, the research on the connotations of colors has presented isolated color samples to the participants, and/or restricted their responses to a limited set of alternatives (e.g., basic emotions). In the present study, the participants were asked to imagine their own examples of the target colors, thereby allowing the participants to select their own salient examples, including the context. In addition, a qualitative method, the semi-structured interview, was employed, giving them freedom to choose their own terms of description, and also identify issues which they themselves regarded as relevant. To a large extent, the results were consistent with previous research about the emotional significance and arousing effects of different colors. But this alternative approach also threw light upon more subtle connotations of colors, the multiple meanings of a single color, and also the participants' reasons for these connotations, ranging from individual experiences to cultural conventions and stereotypes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)406-410
Number of pages5
JournalColor Research and Application
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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