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Keywords:

  • colour emotion;
  • colour meaning;
  • colour emotion space;
  • cross-cultural study;
  • colour psychology

Abstract

This article classifies colour emotions for single colours and develops colour-science-based colour emotion models. In a psychophysical experiment, 31 observers, including 14 British and 17 Chinese subjects assessed 20 colours on 10 colour-emotion scales: warm–cool, heavy–light, modern–classical, clean–dirty, active–passive, hard–soft, tense–relaxed, fresh–stale, masculine–feminine, and like–dislike. Experimental results show no significant difference between male and female data, whereas different results were found between British and Chinese observers for the tense–relaxed and like–dislike scales. The factor analysis identified three colour-emotion factors: colour activity, colour weight, and colour heat. The three factors agreed well with those found by Kobayashi and Sato et al. Four colour-emotion models were developed, including warm–cool, heavy–light, active–passive, and hard–soft. These models were compared with those developed by Sato et al. and Xin and Cheng. The results show that for each colour emotion the models of the three studies agreed with each other, suggesting that the four colour emotions are culture-independent across countries. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Col Res Appl, 29, 232–240, 2004; Published online in Wiley InterScience (www.interscience.wiley.com). DOI 10.1002/col.20010