Friday, March 16, 2007

Want To Succeed? Don't See Red

Research has long confirmed that different colors stimulate emotional and physical reactions in people.

Color can impact our mood, our appetite, and our energy level. Color can sway thinking, change actions and cause reactions. It can irritate or soothe your eyes, raise your blood pressure or suppress your appetite.

So, there is NO doubt that color has a significant effect on us.

Red, the most emotionally intense color, stimulates a faster heartbeat and breathing - as well as symbolizes life, love, luck, strength and vitality.

But did you know that the color red can keep you from achieving?

Though red can be a vibrant, sizzling and eye-catching color, it appears that it can throw you off as you take a test or perform a task.

Red usually implies danger, commands us to stop, and is associated with imperfection and failing. Remember those red pencil marks on your assignments and test?

Well, researchers at the University of Rochester and the University of Munich found if test takers were shown red or even a hint of the color, their performances plummeted.

So, pass along this advice to others:


Green is the color that elicits relaxation.

And hey, it's almost St. Patrick's Day. What a timely post!


Elliot, A.J.; Maier, M.A.; Moller, A.C.; Friedman, R. & Meinhardt, J. (2007) The Effect of Red on Performance Attainment. Journal of Experimental Psychology, Vol 136(1): 154-168.


Godwhacker said...

Hi Deb,
good advice! the luck of the Irish to you.

Ian Lidster said...

Sure and begorrah and top o' the mornin' to ye. I haven't an ounce of Irish in me, but have been married to three women of Irish extraction. Want to analyze that one?
Hmm. Red is a bad thing. I believed it was the color of passion, as in red roses for a blue lady.
Wonder what it says about 'red states?'
Interesting post as always, my friend.


Dr. A said...

Tiger Woods says his power color is red. He always wears it on the final day of golf tournaments. He seems to do ok with it. But, of course, Tiger always seems to break the rules.

Fallen Angels said...

We used to moderate chat rooms on MSN "back in the day", along with JIP, Raine, Psychperson and a few others that read here. In almost every mental health chat room, red font was not allowed because of the effect it has on people. Of course it didnt effect everyone negatively, but for those it did, it triggered anger outbursts, panic attacks and SI. I have a problem with red myself, but only in certain instances and certain shades. I can wear red and my car is red, but websites with a lot of deep red (especially with dark backgrounds) cause my heart to race. In the not so distant past, those websites would trigger a full-blown panic attack.


PalmTreeChick said...

What about yellow? That's my fav!

Nancy said...

Hi Dr Deb,
i have never been a 'red', i had a cranberry red explorer that was nothing but trouble, I love Benjamin Moores Prescott Green...
Happy St Patrick's to you

Anonymous Mom said...

my son with bipolar disorder wanted me to paint his bedroom red. it took me days of convincing to go with light gray, with one red wall. the wall behind his bed, so he doesn't have to look at it most of the time, and not at all when he's trying to sleep.

Reiki 4 Life said...

hmmmm...I would think the color I wear would affect Others moods more than mine b/c they are looking directly at me? I haven't heard that about wearing certain colors, but have heard about painting rooms certain colors for desired affects. it makes sense though. Enjoy St. Patty's day. And I love to wear green anyway...bright kelly green is one of my favorite colors.

jumpinginpuddles said...

Red is our favourite colour, but we also think its because of a lot of other reasons we like red maybe not like but are comfortable withit, red is familiar to us, but if we want to mellow we use purple diffferent shades from lilac to deep purple.

Raine said...

ok then, I wanna know why the heck they paint Target all red?? I wont shop there because of it. Red is not a trigger color for me but that is just SOOO much red I find it disturbs me. I really have to wonder at them and what the purpose was in designing their stores that way.

Bam said...

As new age as this is, but from a holistic alternative health prespective: Different colours affect our chakras in different ways which affects our emotional/mental/spiritual states.. A good colour to help with seperation anxiety for instance is yellow.

kath said...

I completely believe in color energy, color therapy and ow color affects you. I often use color energy when I do Reiki.

I absolutely feel the different energy of color...

good post, Deb.. thanks!

Clare said...

That's interesting Deb and Happy St Paddy's day to you. Hope you had a Guiness to celebrate lol!

STAG said...

Bright red lipstick and bright red nails. Combined with a chinese red sheath dress. Doesn't say "stop" to ME! Course my brain DOES stop working.....

Belizegial said...


Red signifies passion for me. I also love green. Taking due note of what effect the two colors have.


Mary Quincey said...

Good Morning, Deb,

Red is one color that brings a sense of passion to fulfilling my dream to help reform health care insurance. This passion kicked into determination which led to perseverance in a stuggle that has lasted almost two years. Sweet victories are coming from red...Check out my blog,, dated March 17th "This could be huge."

I would welcome hearing from like-minded believers.


Heidi said...

I don't even think I have a favorite color..Hmm how odd is that?

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

Hey GW,
Green is good on St. Paddy's as well as other days.

Dear Ian,
Three Irish wives. Hmmmmm....gonna have to get back to you on that one ;)

Dear Dr. A.,
Tiger is in a class by himself. Maybe his wearing of red negatively impacts those who play with him?

Dear Fallen,
That's so totally interesting.

Dear Palm,
Yellow is a fun color.

Dear Nancy,
I love all colors. Prescott Green by BM IS a fab color!

Dear Anon Mom,
You are a smarty.

Dear Reiki,
I love green as well. Olive green looks especially nice on me.

Dear JIP,
I love purples too. My office is painted in a purple haze of color. Very soothing.

Dear Raine,
That is so funny. I dislike shopping in Target, though I love the store. I'm always wanting to get outta there so fast. Maybe it IS all of the red!

Dear Bam,
I didn't know that about separation. Thanks for the insight.

Dear Kathy,
I think color has great power as well.

Dear Clare,
Happy St. PAddy's to you too, buddy.

Dear Stag,
I say whatever colors work for you are good by me.

Dear Belize,
I also love green. Nature and all.

Dear Mary,
Thanks for you stopping by.

Dear Heidi,
I don't have a favorite. I love all colors.


The Sleep Doctor said...

Similarly, color on your walls can affect how you relax and sleep. It's all cultural, of course, but in our western culture, red is considered "hot" and may actually keep one from falling asleep at night. "Cool colors" like blue, green or violet may be a better, more relaxing choice for the bedroom.

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

Dear Sleep Doctor,
Yup, cool calming colors in the bedroom have been well studied. We have a nice watergreen blue in ours.


Meow said...

Hey, Deb, that is really interesting. I tend to wear colours, depending on my mood. Can't say I own anything green, though !!
I looooove red, but it has a time and place. Blue seems to work best for me, relaxing and calming.
Pink, too !!
Take care, Meow

Rositta said...

Grrr, my living room is painted red. Maybe that's why I don't get my knitting done fast enough...ciao

HP said...

Interesting...that's why they say 'see red'? I'd never wear green even for St. Patrick's day as a confirmed 'blue' person myself.

dragonflyfilly said...

right on Deb! - i used to get the heeby geebies when an instructor scribbled all over my essays and research papers IN RED! Yep,you guessed it, it made me see red! - much better to use green or pencil. I once read that if you are going to appear in court you should wear pink or blue, as that would make the judge/jury look upon you favourably.

or, like me in this old old photo of myself, your could also wear black and silver, my favourite combination, hah hah!

dragonflyfilly said...

p.s. come up 'n see me sometime, whydoncha?

Wanda's Wings said...

Very interesting. I like red! What does that say about me? :)

Cheesemeister said...

Heh, I wear the color my calendar of the Olde Religion tells me is the color of the day. I'm actually not obsessive about this, but it does help me decide what to wear!
My brother was born on St. Patrick's Day.

Moof said...

I find red distracting, and am actually happier surrounded by quiet shades of blue ... although if the green is "reserved" enough, I don't mind that, either.

Actually, any real loud colors tend to be distracting ... at least, they are to me.

I read someplace that pastels have been found beneficial in various settings, for example in psychiatric hospitals. I believe that.

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

Dear Meow,
I love colors too. I tend to wear olive green alot as it looks nice with my coloring. Blue is my most fav color. The different hues are so calming for me too!

Dear Rositta,
Hmmmm....maybe so!

Dear HP,
I like wearing green on St. Paddy's day. When it's Cinco De Mayo, I'm in my Mexican colors. Actually, give me something to celebrate, and I'll find an accompanying outfit!

Dear Dragon,
Black and silver is a great contrasting set of hues!

Dear Wanda,
I like red too. Especially when I feel festive. It reminds me of many happy things. Christmas. Hearts. Apples. But in a school situation, I do feel uneasy seeing red.

Dear Moof,
Pastels do provide a softened emotional experience, you are correct! I can enjoy vivid palettes and subtle ones. The key though is being in the right frame of mind for such things. At least, for me that is.


happy said...

But what about red lipstick? !!! How can I be without it?:))) And I think won't be really better decision:)lol