The Psychology and Meaning of Colours

What is it about the rainbow that gives most people a sense of happiness? Sure, it signifies the calm after a storm, but the colours themselves have an effect on our minds.

There is a reason why people prefer certain colours over others. This preference says volumes about our personalities, because each colour has an association with a reaction our brain has when we internalize it.

Colour psychology is a well-known, yet less explored branch of the study of how our brain perceives what it visualizes. As far as scientific research goes, there is not much to work with. However, the impact that colours have on our brains is used to manipulate our decision making by multiple facets of society.

Personality Based on Colour:


Associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power, determination as well as passion, desire, and love. Enhances human metabolism, increases respiration rate, and raises blood pressure. It attracts attention more than any other colour, at times signifying danger.


Combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. Associated with joy, sunshine, and the tropics. Represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation.


Associated with joy, happiness, intellect, and energy. Produces a warming effect, arouses cheerfulness, stimulates mental activity, and generates muscle energy. Bright, pure yellow is an attention getter, which is the reason taxicabs are painted this colour. When overused, yellow may have a disturbing effect. It is known that babies cry more in yellow rooms. Yellow indicates honor and loyalty. Later the meaning of yellow was connected with cowardice.


Colour of nature. It symbolizes growth, harmony, freshness, and fertility. Strong emotional correspondence with safety. Dark green is also commonly associated with money. Has great healing power. Green suggests stability and endurance. Colour of the sea. It is often associated with depth and stability. Symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven. Considered beneficial to the mind and body. Slows human metabolism and produces a calming effect. Strongly associated with tranquility and calmness. Used to symbolize piety and sincerity.


Combines the stability of blue and the energy of red. Associated with royalty. It symbolizes power, nobility, luxury, and ambition. Conveys wealth and extravagance. Associated with wisdom, dignity, independence, creativity, mystery, and magic.


Associated with light, goodness, innocence, purity, and virginity. Considered to be the colour of perfection. Signifies safety, purity, and cleanliness. Usually has a positive connotation. Can represent a successful beginning. Depicts faith and purity.


Associated with power, elegance, formality, death, evil, and mystery. A mysterious colour associated with fear and the unknown (black holes). Usually has a negative connotation (blacklist, black humor, ‘black death’). Denotes strength and authority; it is considered to be a very formal, elegant, and prestigious colour. The symbol of grief. Colour is, simply stated, broken down white light. This is a dissection of light at different wavelengths and each wavelength is perceived as a separate colour. Objects tend to absorb or reflect these wavelengths, so when we see a yellow lemon, it is the yellow wavelength that is being reflected while all others are being absorbed. Now that we have understood what colour means, let’s explore some of the ways it influences our mood.