What does the color orange mean in psychology?

Orange is one of the secondary colors associated with exoticism, fun and excitement. But not only that; color psychology has proposed different meanings and effects depending on the specific shade of orange, as well as different uses.

In this article we will see what is and what does orange mean according to color psychology, As well as some uses in consumer psychology.

    The psychology of color

    The relationship between colors and our mental and subjective processes has long been studied, not only by psychology, but also by philosophy, physics and other fields of knowledge.

    Among the propositions that have emerged from these studies is the idea that colors are an active part of our environment, so they are endowed with a number of meanings. These give shape and at the same time they reflect our perceptions and emotions.

    Moreover, these are meanings that have emerged from our cultural interaction with colors. In other words, depending on the colors they were defined by different human societiesIn connection with the phenomena of nature, each acquires a special meaning, as well as the possibility of activating emotions, thoughts and psychophysical effects.

    Pioneering in this area are the studies carried out in the early 1800s by the German novelist and scientist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who took up Newton’s theories of the decomposition of light, to analyze the moral effects of colors and intellectual characteristics. , traditional and status depending on the context.

    In contemporary times, the studies of Eva Heller are recognized, who tells us for example that the color orange became popular in Europe until migration and wars brought the fruits of the East. Likewise, he suggests that all colors they have not only cultural but psychological significance, And this is also a meaning that can vary if the colors are combined with each other.

    How do you get the orange?

    Breaking down sunlight in a glass prism different wavelengths are generated which in turn produce a range of colors: purple, blue, green, yellow, orange and red. From these are derived three combinations of colored lights which can recreate white light. These lights are green, blue-purple, and red-orange, which are considered primary colors. The above is known as the law of mixing light colors, or also as the RGB (red, green, blue) system, additive synthesis, or the three-color process.

    However, there is another way to analyze colors. This is the material law of color, also called the CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, key) or four-color system, which is the law that generated ink and reproduces color images, so it is the more widely used.

    From this law derive the primary colors red, yellow and blue. These are the only ones that do not result from the mixing of the others, but they do. they can mix with each other to create any shade that the human eye can appreciate.

    On the other hand, the colors purple, green and orange are called secondary colors, because they are obtained from the mixture of primary colors. As with other colors, orange has a wide range of colors, that is, it is made up of different shades, and each of them can represent different elements.

    What does the color orange mean?

    The different shades of orange they have been linked to personality traits, attitudes, motivations and emotions. It mainly represents joy, enthusiasm and fun. It has also been linked to exoticism, which does not generate pleasure for everyone.

    It is about sociability, originality, extraversion, activity or enthusiasm and closeness. On the other hand, some shades of orange represent the too striking, frivolous and conventional attitude; and other tones also represent the inappropriate and the dangerous.

    Additionally, orange has been associated with lust and sensuality. Its combination with gray evokes both discretion and extroversion; and the mix between orange and white evokes the striking and at the same time the moderate. This last part of Heller’s theory that there is a specific color combination that has opposite and psychologically contradictory effects. In cultural terms, it has been used frequently in Buddhism and in connection with Protestantism.

      In consumer psychology

      One thing that psychology has studied is how different brands base their communication with the consumer. through a symbology of shapes and colors. They start from the idea that the use of color largely determines the success of the message; since the colors evoke different emotions according to the characteristics of the public to which they are addressed. In other words, color even influences our decisions, so it has had important implications for consumer psychology.

      Specifically, in consumer psychology, orange, as well as red and yellow, have been associated with stimulation of appetite and flavorsSo, they were used to advertise different foods and restaurant chains.

      Related to this, the psychophysical psychology of color has found the relationship between the intense orange color and the experience of sweet taste. Warm colors like yellow, red and orange cause a positive buying response for its association with optimism.

      Bibliographical references:

      • Álvarez, O. (2011). Influence of color on consumer preferences. Revista Observatori Calassanç, 2 (4): 228-246.
      • Heller, I. (2004). Psychology of color. How the colors act on the feelings and the reason. Editorial Gustavo Gili: Spain.
      • Llorente, C. (2018). Comparative analysis of chromatic symbolism in advertising. Nike in China and Spain. Vivat Academy. Journal of Communication, 142: 51-78.
      • Martinez, A. (1979). Psychology of color. Dynamic plastic. 35:37. Accessed September 12, 2018.Available at https://www.raco.cat/index.php/Maina/article/view/104120.
      • Romero, JV. and Serrano, ML. (1968). Do colors influence taste? Inter-American Journal of Psychology, 2 (3): 144-157.
      • Valdez, P. and Mehrabian, A. (1994). Effects of color on emotions. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 123 (4): 394-409.

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