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Colors can affect the way we think

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New research shows colors can affect the way we think. Scientists tested people with brain teasers set against different colored backgrounds and found blue inspired creativity while red made people more cautious in their answers.

Human vision allows us to see a wide range of colors, and over time these colors take on certain meanings. Blue and green remind us of nature, and thus are welcoming or soothing. Yellow suggests caution, while red means stop – be alert.

New research from the University of British Columbia provides the strongest evidence yet that colors can even change our thinking patterns.

Scientists tested 500 adult volunteers on a variety of mental tasks performed on computers. The computer backgrounds were either blue, red, or white, and the colors affected people’s performance on the tests.

On a test that had people list many uses for a brick, those who had the blue background provided the most answers, suggesting blue inspires creativity.

Another test required volunteers to memorize a list of words – those with the red background performed best on this task, suggesting more caution and attention to detail.

Researchers conclude a blue environment could be useful for brainstorming new ideas, while red is a better color for tasks that require focused attention.

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New research from the University of British Columbia provides the strongest evidence yet that colors can even change our thinking patterns.

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