There has long been an interest in trying to predict aspects of personality based on colour preferences. The Lüscher test is perhaps the best known example. There are a number of on-line tests that purport to be based on Max Lüscher’s system, for example, http://www.colorquiz.com/. In this test you are asked to select eight coloured patches in order of preference. These are the patches:
So I just did the test on-line and these were some of the things the test said about me:
“Craves change and new things, always looking for new adventures and activities. Becomes restless and frustrated when he has to wait to long for things to develop. His impatience leads to irritability and a desire to move on to the next project.”
“Highly optimistic and outgoing personality. Loves to learn new and exciting things, and craves new interests. Looking for a well-rounded life full of success and new experiences. Does not allow himself to be overcome with negative thoughts or self-doubt. Takes life head on, with enthusiasm. “
Well, it’s interesting, because it does sound a little bit like me to be honest. Does anyone who knows me agree? But then, we should be aware of the Forer effect (also called personal validation fallacy): the observation that individuals will give high accuracy ratings to descriptions of their personality that supposedly are tailored specifically for them, but are in fact vague and general enough to apply to a wide range of people. We all tend to do this with horoscopes in the daily newspapers. So, I tried the test again – this time using a random colour selection – and these were the corresponding statements:
“Is a little on the lazy side when it comes to putting forth a lot of effort. Needs to build roots and have a peaceful, loving partner.”
Relies on love and friendship to bring him happiness. He is in constant need for approval and this makes him willing to help others in exchange for love and understanding. He is open to new ideas as long as they are productive and interesting.
These certainly don’t sound so much like me. Perhaps there is something in it. Of course, we would need to do a proper scientific study to really get to the bottom of what is going on. Which brings me to the purpose of this post – today I came across a colour personality test that does seem to have had some statistical/scientific validation. The test is called the Dewey Color System (http://www.deweycolorsystem.com/). This test has been assessed with a scientific study conducted by Rense Lange and Jason Rentfrow, the latter being a Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Cambridge (UK). The work has not yet been published but a “pre-journal white paper report” can be downloaded – http://www.deweycolorsystem.com/credentials/proven.html. I will leave it to you to read the report and make your own conclusions.