The Color Psychology of Black
Sun, April 18, 2021

The Color Psychology of Black

Black, just like other colors, is not just for designing our homes or clothes. It’s much more than that. It has long been believed that color can dramatically affect a person’s moods, and emotions / Photo by: Ammak via Shutterstock

 

"Black is real sensation, even if it is produced by entire absence of light. The sensation of black is distinctly different from the lack of all sensation." - Hermann von Helmholz, German scientist

Black, just like other colors, is not just for designing our homes or clothes. It’s much more than that. It has long been believed that color can dramatically affect a person’s moods, and emotions. It can also say something about your personality. The concept of color psychology has been a topic for many studies in several industries like art, design, marketing, and more.

Researchers discovered that an individual’s feelings about a certain color are often deeply personal and rooted in their own culture or experience. For instance, white is seen as a symbol of mourning in many Eastern countries while the color represents purity and innocence in many Western countries. Also, studies have shown that color can impact people in a variety of ways. One study revealed that the color red causes people to react with greater speed and force. Anecdotal evidence has suggested that installing blue-colored streetlights can lead to reduced crime in those areas. 

While there are many studies explaining the meaning of colors, there’s still a lot to learn. For instance, how powerful is the influence of these colors? Can they be used to increase worker productivity? Do certain personality types prefer certain colors? Zena O'Connor, a faculty member in the Department of Architecture, Design, and Planning at the University of Sydney, stated that people should be cautious about the claims in the psychology of color. 

"Many of these claims lack substantiation in terms of empirical support, exhibit fundamental flaws (such as causal oversimplification and subjective validation), and may include factoids presented as facts. In addition, such claims often refer to outdated research without referring to current research findings,” O'Connor explained. 

Exploring the Color Black

Black can be interpreted in many ways. People also have different reactions to the color. For the most part, it is associated with wealth, seriousness, intelligence, evil, seriousness, formality, power, the unknown, and power. One study showed that out of 18 colors, black ranked number 13 as adults' overall favorite color. The color is ranked as the number one favorite color when it comes to clothing for both genders. 

According to VeryWell Mind, a trusted and compassionate online resource that provides the guidance for mental health, the study also showed that 40% of women preferred black over any color compared to only 16% of males. Historically, people have viewed the color as evil, which led to superstitions about animals. For instance, ravens and cats were regarded as evil. They were also thought to have supernatural powers.

Black can be interpreted in many ways. People also have different reactions to the color. For the most part, it is associated with wealth, seriousness, intelligence, evil, seriousness, formality, power, the unknown, and power / Photo by: Dmitry_Tsvetkov via Shutterstock

 

In feng shui, black is associated with the water element and evokes mystery, power, and calm. Some tips that experts give for using black in feng shui include putting black doors that face north, east, or southeast, choosing black for your kids' room to bring creativity and calm, and painting the floor black in a room in the north part of your space. Also, some cultures associate black with sex and the forbidden, making it one of the most common colors of sexy lingerie.

According to Owlcation, a site created by educators and experts on topics related to education, the link between the color blank and the forbidden came from some religions regarding sex as a sin. Often, it is also used as a symbol for the devil or darkness. At the same time, black is linked with elegance, style, wealth and sophistication, attraction, mysteriousness and dominance, and more. The color also represents the emotions and actions of rebellion in teenagers and youth. 

What Wearing Black Says About You

Some people might wonder what message we are sending out when we wear the color black. There are several meanings attached to wearing this color. For instance, you may be a serious person and may struggle to let yourself go and enjoy yourself. You may be a very independent person, seem intimidating to some people, and have a rebellious nature. You probably like the feeling of being strong, powerful, and capable, and dislike authority and being told what to do.

Black may make you seem like you are looking for protection from any negativity that surrounds you, wanting to create an aura of mystery and intrigue. You may be going through a stage of self-denial, holding things inside. Other negative traits associated with the color black include being aloof, depressing, pessimistic, secretive, and withholding.

However, there are also several positive traits associated with the color, such as confidence and sophistication. A study showed that nearly half of women and 64% of men stated that black emits self-sufficiency. According to iheartintelligence.com, an online site dedicated to inspiring mental growth and personal development, some of the common personality traits of people who love wearing black include being confident, sensitive, powerful, and influential. They also don’t quickly get close to others and could build walls to protect themselves.

Mostly, black is associated with negative traits, but that doesn't mean that it is pure evil. Black is a beautiful color no matter what meanings or messages are attached to it.