The two big theories an color preference right now are the biological adaptation theory, and the emotion theory. And the big question they address is not "WHAT" is your favorite color, but WHY.

Basically, when you ask men and women for their color preferences, you get certain similarities and differences. Here's what we're going to be talking about:

This is a common color block used in some types of color preference testing. Here the S quadrant is saturated, the L quadrant is light, the D quadrant is dark, and the M quadrant is muted. You will notice that the same colors are represented in each quadrant in different ways. As for the colors themselves, the four corners are red, yellow, green, and blue, and the four sides are each of their color bisectors (the color in between the two corners) which are orange, chartreuse, cyan, and purple.

So, when you ask people which of these colors they prefer, both men and women prefer colors closer to blue and violet than those close to yellow and green. However, women tend to prefer colors closer to reds than men, who prefer colors closer to blues. This difference has occupied the minds of many scientists for a while, and several theories have come out.

The authors decided to test their theory, and got a bunch of people together to look at colors. They ended up with the same kinds of colors preference that the previous studies had shown. They ALSO had the participants look at the names of objects (each of which was associated with a particular color) and rate them positively or negatively. Not only that, they showed the participants a color, and then had them write down all the things that they could associate with that color (like "apples", "feces", or "grapes"). They then tallied this all together, and looked at the color preferences, as well as what people associated the colors they looked at with.

They got a good correlation between favored colors and favored things. So for instance, red with cherries or apples, brown with feces. And their theory appears (they say) to fit the data better than other theories to date.

Why is this important, you may ask. Well it's very important to people who do marketing. Observe the stark color differences between magazines targeted toward men.

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Funny cartoon of the day

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