Favorite Colors and World Views
Have you ever thought about the meaning of colors beyond the surge of emotions they arouse in us? Have you wondered how your favorite colors and your world views can be correlated?
Well, I have, and I have come across some interesting conclusions. I have conducted a survey on a sample of approximately 60 people of different backgrounds and interests and asked them about their favorite color, being primary or secondary, and their world views, whether conservative or liberal. The results were that 45% of the people who favored a more conservative view on life had a primary color as their favorite, and 12% of conservatives preferred a mixed (secondary color). On the flip side, 33% of those with a more liberal attitude towards life chose a secondary or tertiary color, and 10% went with a primary color.
The primary colors, red, yellow, and blue, are the basic bricks to forming mixed colors, and the word primary suggests a sense of tradition, initial state, and origin. The people whose favorite colors are red, yellow, or blue are mostly conservatives who oppose change and hold traditional values and views on life. An explanation of this correlation is that red is a primary color, a base, and origin, that resists change unless mixed with another color. There lies the correlation: conservative people are like a primary color because they cling to the original social conventions and reject the change. In fact, when you look up synonyms of the word conservative in its political sense, you will find the term “true blue” referring to movements that have rejected and still reject social reform. Also, red was connected to the church and monarchy in Europe before the French revolution, which was conservative in a political sense, because red symbolizes Christ’s blood. In the United States, according to Starkey (2007), the color red is associated with the conservative Republican Party, and the term “red state” refers to the states which are predominantly conservative (Living Blue in the Red States). So, it is not surprising that most people who favor primary colors are conservative.
On the other hand, secondary colors are formed by mixing primary colors, that is, by breaking the boundaries of the conventional colors RYB and bringing new colors and shades to the table. This idea goes in line with the meaning of “liberal” which has a sense of more freedom, flexibility, and acceptance of the change. Liberal people’s choice of favorite color comes as no surprise since they are more lenient and open to new ideas. They reject the norms and conventions. They also believe in sharing and fair distribution of wealth, unlike conservatives who are in favor of autonomous and private ownership, again red, yellow, blue. This idea is linked to how secondary colors are formed by mixing individual discrete elements and sharing their traits to create a new element, or in this case color like purple. In her article, Zillman (2018), argues why the color purple is widely associated with the feminist movement which calls for social change and the abolition of patriarchal conventions and states that purple is the color of justice (Why You Should Wear Purple on International Women’s Day). The secondary color pink is used by the liberal parties in Denmark, such as the Danish Social Liberal Party. Also, according to Wikipedia, the pink flag is used to support the LGBT community. This dates to the fact that in Nazi Germany, homosexual people were marked by pink triangles. People who prefer secondary colors, most liberals, for instance, are pro-choice when it comes to issues like abortion, unlike a conservative who would be prolife in this case.
Colors are more than just a sensation or a perception caused by light reflections; they are a tool for understanding the human psyche and its processes like attitude and decision making. Therefore, the next time you ask someone what their favorite color is, you might get more information than just his/her favorite shade or pigment.