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Influence of Different Cultures and Display Media on Colour Emotions

Li-Chen Ou , M. Ronnier Luo , Andrée Woodcock , Shing-Sheng Guan , Ting-Chun Tung

This study investigates whether colour emotions are affected by different cultures, display media, and subject's educational backgrounds. Psychophysical experiments were carried out at three locations, two in Britain and the other in Taiwan. In the experiments single colours and colour pairs were presented on Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) monitors and were assessed on four colour-emotion scales. Colour samples used in the previous experiment were accurately reproduced in the present experiments onto CRT monitors. This allows the same colours to be assessed at different locations. The four colour-emotion scales used in the experiments include 'warm-cool', 'heavy-light', 'active-passive', and 'like-dislike'. A total of 49 subjects took part in the experiments. The experimental data obtained from the three locations were compared. The results show little difference in colour emotions for colour pairs between different cultures (British vs. Taiwanese), different display media (CRT vs. surface colours), and different backgrounds of subjects (design vs. non-design). However, for single colours the scale 'like-dislike' show low correlation between data sets. In the previous study an 'additivity theory' was developed for predicting colour-pair emotions. The theory predicts the intensity of a colour emotion for a colour pair by the mean value of the colour emotion for individual colours in that pair. The present experimental results show the 'additivity theory', which was developed originally for surface colours, also applies to CRT colours.


colour design, cross-cultural, cross-media, colour emotion, colour meaning, colour preference, colour pair