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Mood Lighting

Mood Lighting
Surround yourself in color—do you feel a shade different?

Sit down in a cozy chair and bathe your brain in a bubble of color of your choosing, dialing up anything from amber to violet. As you spend a few moments with each color, you may feel a shift in your own emotional hue.

What’s going on?

An entire field of research—color psychology—devotes itself to exploring this phenomenon, the ability of color to manipulate our emotions.  

Thought to be partly a matter of cultural training and partly a matter of biology, the power that color has to subtly sway our feelings has been confirmed in a wide range of environments. Not only does color have measurable affects on mood, it can alter the way food tastes, the outcome of a sporting match, and the effectiveness of a (placebo) pill.

Color can even distort your perception of time. In one study, participants bathed in either red or blue light were asked to estimate when a minute had passed—perceived duration was 11 seconds shorter for the blue-light crew.

External resources

IMLS acknowledgment

This web project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services [MA-30-16-0175-16].


IMLS acknowledgment

This web project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services [MA-30-16-0175-16].