Color Assignment Home

This web site was put together as a research project with the goal of discovering cultural similarities (and differences) based on color association, preference, and internet activities. I posted a survey in late January 2003 with the goal of obtaining 500+ results. My initial hope was that with 500 responses there would be enough data from cultures outside the United States that the comparison of two or more cultures would be possible. When I closed the survey in early March 2003 I had only gathered 232 results (79.3% coming from the USA and the other ~20% divided amongst 21 other countries).

Figure 2.1
- color Wheel 1

With a noticeable lack of international data, the aforementioned cultural comparisons were not justified. Moreover, the time constraints of a short winter quarter at the University of Washington have provided sufficient motivation to alter the focus of my research.

Cultural similarities and differences will not be included in this project (although I hope that someday…someone might pick up where I left off); nevertheless, the research focuses on four sections: First, words like trust, quality, and desperation (to name a few) and the colors the participants associated with these words will be examined. The goal of this section will be to discover trends (or lack thereof) between a standard list of colors and a list of words that may (at first look) seem to have no association with any color. Second, correlations between the aforementioned color sets and published research on color preference are investigated. Related to this, the next section will examine color psychology and some possible reasons for the color choices by the participants. Examining differences, and similarities, between already published information and the survey results will help present a qualitative perspective of the data collected in the color questionnaire. The fourth (and final) step is to correlate these results to online activities. In the survey, questions regarding the importance of a variety of online activities (e.g. shopping & communicating, to name a few) were asked, and this part of the project will focus on possible color combinations to help designers make better color choices for using, or not using, specific colors.

Site Instructions:

Unlike most formal academic research projects, this study is published as a web site. A web site can reflect the qualities found in a traditional research paper (e.g. an introduction, methods, results, parenthetical references, etc.) as well as the qualities of a dynamic document. This research project allows you to navigate through the document using several paths. If you wish to navigate the document in a non-linear fashion you can use the navigation buttons at the top of each page to jump to any of the sections. If you wish to read this study in a linear fashion you can use the “Next” and “Previous” buttons at the bottom of each page. Using these buttons will take you (in order) through the entire project much like turning the pages of a book.

If you have any questions, see any mistakes, or just want to communicate with me, you can reach me through my contact form.

Site Outline:

1. Homepage
     a. Introduction
     b. Site Instructions
     c. Site Outline
2. Color Education
     a. Education
     b. About Light
     c. Measurement of color
3. Methods
     a. Participants
     b. Survey Design
     c. Pretest
     d. Procedures
4. Associations
     a. Senses
     b. Language
     c. Objects
     d. Personality
5. Color Preferences
     a. Favorite color
     b. Favorite color by Gender
     c. Favorite color by Age Group
     d. Least Favorite color
     e. Least Favorite color by Gender
      f. Least Favorite color by Age Group
6. Color Psychology
7. Online Activities
     a. The Toy Store
     b. Breast Cancer Awareness
8. Conclusion
9. Data sets
     a. Graphs
     b. Histograms
     c. Raw Data
10. Credits
     a. Words
     b. Art
     c. Special Thanks