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How Colors Affect You: What Science Reveals

Being able to shape people's perspectives through your palette preference? Color us impressed.
How Colors Affect You: What Science Reveals is rated 4.3 out of 5 by 170.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from I had no idea that colors had so much of an effect on us. This was a very interesting course
Date published: 2022-01-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very interesting! When I ordered this course I expected something different about color theory. I found it more interesting than what I expected. Very fascinating from a marketing perspective! Loved it!
Date published: 2021-12-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Compelling, clear and fun Mr. Lidwell's presentation is well organized and flows with clarity. A deep dive into a shallow pool of solid knowledge is a difficult task but he makes it interesting. Studies are discussed that attempt to shed light on the meaning of colors. Does red clothing make wearers more attractive? Does black clothing intimidate competitors and energize the black uniformed team? Without getting too deep into the methodology, studies are discussed that attempt to ferret out effects of colors in different contexts of use. For example, under what circumstances is yellow an attraction for a store and when is it a detraction? use of colors in idioms further provides information regarding civilization's perception- oftentimes contradictory- about the meaning of colors. The series of lectures was a well organized intellectual tour of a paradox seen everywhere, every day, but understood mostly on a level beyond the intellect.
Date published: 2021-12-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fascinating I have long known that colors effect us in many ways. I was interested in this course to see the extent of colors on our life. Excellent presenter who gave a lot of very specific information and examples for daily activities. I will follow up on this course with additional study as a result to further my own knowledge.
Date published: 2021-09-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Interesting insights! Great studies used. The course provides discussion of various studies for each color and gives practical examples of how the knowledge from the studies can be used. The only drawback is that --by now in 2021 --the videos are copyrighted 2013, with the most recent study cited in the credits being from 2012. There are several points in the videos where it is mentioned that further study is needed, or that one study appeared to contradict another. It would be nice to see an update video covering what's new with all of the colors every 10 years or so.
Date published: 2021-08-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good course, lot of useful and little-known stuff. Good course. It's short, six lectures. The professor talks about the use of color. He's done a lot of research, there's quite a few times where he'll talk about a commonly accepted theory about a color, and then explain where that theory might have come from and what research actually shows. As an example, he says it's commonly accepted that yellow rooms will make infants cry, but explains that seems to have come from one person's opinion, it's not backed up by the science, and any overly-bright room will likely perturb an infant. He's honest about where the studies have shown consistent results, and where they've shown surprising results, and where more research is needed. Some very good tips on what colors to wear if you want to appear friendly, if you want to appear more attractive, and what to wear to a job interview (which can change depending on your role, your gender, and the gender of your interviewers). Also, again from the yellow lecture, details like a light golden cast to your skin from exposure to sun and a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is good, but wearing yellow is bad. From the green lecture, details like how well viewing nature improves your concentration.
Date published: 2021-03-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Terrific!! This was EXTREMELY interesting. As someone that's always been drawn to bright colors and rainbows, I really wanted to see what this course had to say about color. I never knew that so much was behind how we perceive color. The professor in this course was extremely good at talking without it becoming boring. Highly recommend.
Date published: 2021-01-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from How Colors Affect You: What Science Reveals I found this course to many fascinating facts that I had not previously been exposed to. As an artist, I understand color theory very well, but did not know many of the unusual concepts discussed. The visuals provided were effective in communicating the key points. I especially enjoyed the information about how language and culture shapes our experience of color. I liked this so well that I have recommended it to several of my family! members.
Date published: 2020-11-03
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Discover how color influences your brain-and how you can use those insights to your advantage-in this eye-opening course from a best-selling author and expert on design.


William Lidwell

Did you know that pink rooms will not calm aggressive prisoners or zap the strength of opposing teams, and yellow walls in the nursery will not cause babies to cry more often?


University of Houston

Professor William Lidwell lectures at the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture at the University of Houston. He also serves as Director of Innovation and Development at the Stuff Creators Design Studio in Houston, Texas. He earned his B.A. in Psychology from Texas State University and his M.S. in Interaction and Instructional Design from the University of Houston-Clear Lake. A designer, teacher, and author, Professor Lidwell has over 20 years of experience working in product design and user interaction. He frequently consults on matters of design and consumer experience with leading firms, including Harrah's, IKEA, Merrill Lynch, and Procter & Gamble. He also founded and has supported numerous start-up companies, ranging from online learning environments to heirloom furniture design stores to food trucks. Professor Lidwell is the author of the best-selling design guide Universal Principles of Design, which has been translated into more than 20 languages. He has written and edited other works, including Deconstructing Product Design, the Makeshift column for MAKE Magazine, and Guidelines for Excellence in Management.

By This Professor

How Colors Affect You: What Science Reveals
How Colors Affect You: What Science Reveals


The Meanings of Color

01: The Meanings of Color

Begin your exploration of how colors affect you with a look at the general science behind color, first uncovered during landmark experiments by Isaac Newton. Then, investigate the pervasive power of color on human behavior with a close look at how color shapes our perception of what food tastes like. Finally, with the aid of intriguing experiments and illuminating case studies, discover the three ...

35 min
The Black and White Lecture

02: The Black and White Lecture

Contrary to what you may think, black and white are colors like any other when examined from the perspective of what your brain sees. In fact, they're the only true universal colors. In this fascinating lecture, Professor Lidwell takes you inside the meanings behind these two elemental colors. You focus on two specific contexts for black and white: competitive contexts (where black signals aggress...

32 min
The Red Lecture

03: The Red Lecture

Turn now to the color red, which holds a unique place in the pantheon of colors, thanks to its primal significance in expressing fear, strength, beauty, status, and passion. What do we know with confidence about the meanings behind the color red? Find out by examining several powerful examples of the color red at work: in competitive situations, where it signals dominance; in mating and courtship ...

33 min
The Yellow Lecture

04: The Yellow Lecture

Why is yellow the most vibrant color to the human eye? How does the human eye detect yellow wavelengths so effectively? Why is there such a fine line between "good" and "bad" shades of yellow? When does yellow signal health or weakness, happiness or danger? How can it work to help increase cognitive performance? Find the answers to these and other provocative questions in this richly detailed and ...

32 min
The Green Lecture

05: The Green Lecture

Life. Fertility. Envy. Success. These are just a few of the many common associations the brain makes with the color green. Here, Professor Lidwell takes you even deeper into this lush color, guiding you through an exploration of two lesser-known contexts of green: as a way to foster creativity and a way to reduce anxiety and mental fatigue. You'll also get a chance to probe some more anecdotal (bu...

31 min
The Blue Lecture

06: The Blue Lecture

In this final lecture, focus on the last color in the logical color sequence and one of the most commonly chosen favorite colors throughout the world: blue. As you'll discover, there are some interesting and unique properties of the color blue that set it apart from other colors and make it seem, in some respects, almost magical. You'll learn about the ways blue fosters and promotes openness and c...

39 min