August 2012
Volume 12, Issue 9
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2012
Color Preference: Seasonal and Gender Differences
Author Affiliations
  • Rolf Nelson
    Wheaton College, Norton, MA
  • Karen Schloss
    University of California, Berkeley
  • Laura Parker
    Wheaton College, Norton, MA
  • Stephen Palmer
    Wheaton College, Norton, MA
Journal of Vision August 2012, Vol.12, 72. doi:
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      Rolf Nelson, Karen Schloss, Laura Parker, Stephen Palmer; Color Preference: Seasonal and Gender Differences. Journal of Vision 2012;12(9):72.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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According to Palmer and Schloss’s (2010) ecological theory of color aesthetics, people’s preferences for colored objects influence their preferences for the colors associated with those objects. If so, broad changes in environmental colors (and any learned associations with them) might affect color preferences. The current study examined color preferences over the four seasons of the year at a college in New England, where there is substantial seasonal variation in the color of the outdoor environment. Thirty-nine participants who had lived in the area for at least six years rated their preferences on the 37 colors of the Berkeley Color Project, including eight chromatic hues at four "cuts" in color space (light, dark, saturated, and muted), and five achromatic colors (white, black, and three shades of gray), during the fall, winter, spring, and summer seasons. Seasonal changes in color preference were evident, particularly between ratings done in the spring and fall for colors characteristically associated with these seasons. Participants preferred dark warm colors more in the fall and light colors more in the spring. Substantial gender differences in color preference were also evident, with seasonal differences being more pronounced in males than females. These results are compared with recent theories and data about color preferences (e.g., Hurlbert & Ling, 2007; Schloss & Palmer, 2011).

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2012


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