The Color Blue: Why Does Everybody Love It?

Artsy: “Studies as early as 1941 indicated that bluish hues were the most preferred; just this summer, the world’s favorite color was declared to be a particular shade of greenish-blue (or was it bluish-green?) based on a 30,000-person survey canvassing 100 countries. It’s a predilection that isn’t limited to a particular geography or gender or even political affiliation—as it turns out, even Republicans generally prefer blue, too.”

“According to research conducted by psychologists Stephen E. Palmer and Karen Schloss over the last seven years, the answer isn’t found in our DNA. Their study, published in 2010, posits that a person’s preference for a given color can be determined by averaging out how much that person likes all of the objects they associate with that color … we associate blue largely with the sky and water (as well as more mundane, but neutral-to-positive, items such as ballpoint pens and blue jeans), raising the average preference for blue higher than the remainder of the rainbow.”

“Schloss has also found that color preferences vary depending on the time of year, pegged to the changing of the seasons. Typically, the colors of autumn—golden yellows, browns, dark reds—are the least-liked on the color wheel. But surveys conducted in the fall reveal an increased preference for these dark, warm shades, when participants most closely associate them with festive things like hayrides and pumpkin patches … And tastes can shift even more rapidly. On Election Day, for example, Republicans’ party-based preference for red spikes (during the rest of the year, their favorite color is actually overwhelmingly blue—surprisingly, in higher numbers than blue-state Democrats).”

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