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Proceedings Paper

Human preference for individual colors
Author(s): Stephen E. Palmer; Karen B. Schloss
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Paper Abstract

Color preference is an important aspect of human behavior, but little is known about why people like some colors more than others. Recent results from the Berkeley Color Project (BCP) provide detailed measurements of preferences among 32 chromatic colors as well as other relevant aspects of color perception. We describe the fit of several color preference models, including ones based on cone outputs, color-emotion associations, and Palmer and Schloss's ecological valence theory. The ecological valence theory postulates that color serves an adaptive "steering' function, analogous to taste preferences, biasing organisms to approach advantageous objects and avoid disadvantageous ones. It predicts that people will tend to like colors to the extent that they like the objects that are characteristically that color, averaged over all such objects. The ecological valence theory predicts 80% of the variance in average color preference ratings from the Weighted Affective Valence Estimates (WAVEs) of correspondingly colored objects, much more variance than any of the other models. We also describe how hue preferences for single colors differ as a function of gender, expertise, culture, social institutions, and perceptual experience.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 February 2010
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7527, Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XV, 752718 (18 February 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.849110
Show Author Affiliations
Stephen E. Palmer, Univ. of California, Berkeley (United States)
Karen B. Schloss, Univ. of California, Berkeley (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7527:
Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XV
Bernice E. Rogowitz; Thrasyvoulos N. Pappas, Editor(s)

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