Does Sadness Affect How We See Color?
We really may see things more blue when we are sad. New research from the University of Rochester suggests that feeling sad could actually alter how we perceive color.
Researchers had 127 college students watch an emotional film clip meant to induce sadness or a standup comedy clip meant to induce amusement.
After watching video clip, the students were then shown 48 consecutive, de-saturated color swatches and were asked to describe whether each was red, yellow, green, or blue.
Their findings, which are published in Psychological Science, showed that participants who watched the sad video clip were less accurate in identifying colors than those who watched the amusing video clip – but only for colors on the blue-yellow axis. There was no difference in accuracy for determining colors on the red-green axis.
A second study had students watch a sad video clip and others watch a neutral video clip of a screen saver, and results showed that students who viewed the sad clip were less accurate in identifying colors on the blue- yellow axis compared to those watching a neutral screen saver. This suggests that sadness slikely accounts for the difference in color perception.
This Week's Slice of History: Chemotherapy Invented: Aug. 31,1909