Explaining Color Preferences

Why do people have color preferences? Why do color preferences differ between individuals and why do they change over time? Much of our research on answering these questions is motivated by the Ecological Valence Theory (EVT), which proposes that preference for a color is determined by preference for all objects and entities associated that color. We also evaluate other theories to test their ability to explain color preferences.

Color Preference Metrics

Dandelions Single

What are effective ways to describe patterns of color preferences? How can we predict people’s preferences for colors they haven’t judged? We are constructing and evaluating models built from color space dimensions in color spaces, which provide parsimonious descriptions of complex patterns of data.

Papers on this topic
Schloss, K. B., Lessard, L., Racey, C., & Hurlbert, A. C. (online 2017). Modeling color preferences using color space metrics. Vision Research. Link

Schloss, K. B. & Palmer, S.E. (2017). An ecological framework for temporal and individual differences in color preferences. Vision Research, 141, 95-108.  Link

Schloss, K. B., & Heck, I. A. (2017). Seasonal changes in color preferences are linked to variations in environmental colors: A longitudinal study of fall, i-Perception, 8, 6, 1-19. PDF

Schloss, K. B., Nelson, R., Parker, L., Heck, I. A., & Palmer, S. E. (2017). Seasonal variations in color preference. Cognitive Science, 41, 6, 1589-1612. Link

Yokosawa, K., Schloss, K. B., Asano, M., & Palmer, S. E. (2016). Ecological Effects in Cross-Cultural Differences Between U.S. and Japanese Color Preferences, Cognitive Science, 40, 7, 1590-1616.Link

Schloss, K. B. (2015). Color preferences differ with variations in color perception. Trends in Cognitive Science, 19, 554-555. Link

Schloss, K. B., Hawthorne, D. & Palmer, S. E. (2015). Ecological influences of individual differences in color preferences. Attention, Perception and Psychophysics, 77, 2803-2816. Link

Strauss, E. D., Schloss, K. B., & Palmer, S. E. (2013). Color preferences change after experience with liked/disliked color objects. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 20, 5, 935-943. Link

Taylor, C., Schloss, K. B., & Palmer, S. E., & Franklin, A. (2013). Color preferences in infants and adults are different. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 20, 5, 916-922. Link

Schloss, K. B., Poggesi, R. M., & Palmer, S. E. (2011). Effects of university affiliation and “school spirit” on color preferences: Berkeley vs. Stanford. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 18, 498-504. PDF

Palmer, S. E. & Schloss, K. B. (2010). An ecological valence theory of color preferences. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107, 8877-8882. PDF