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Emotion. 2009 Dec;9(6):898-902. doi: 10.1037/a0017811.

Basic hue-meaning associations.

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Gettysburg College, USA.


Color may not only be pleasing to the eye, but may also carry important associations relevant for psychological functioning. Two experiments were conducted to test for basic hue-meaning associations, controlling for lightness and chroma. Specifically, we used a reaction time paradigm to test for links between red and green, and words that varied in achievement content (failure and success) or valence more generally. Results revealed that red was positively associated with failure and general negative words, and was negatively associated with success and general positive words, whereas green was positively associated with success words only. These findings directly document that hue carries psychologically relevant meaning. Implications both within and beyond the achievement domain are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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