Quiz: How does color affect you?

By: Alison Cooper & Matt Cunningham

Quiz: How does color affect you?
Image: Rostislav_Sedlacek/iStock/Thinkstock

About This Quiz

When it comes to painting your home, there's more to picking a color than meets the eye. Your choices are often based on deep-seated psychological reactions. Take this quiz to see how much you know about the effects of color on your mind!
What color is typically the most soothing?
red
green
blue
While certain shades of light green and even pink can be soothing to some, lighter blue hues are widely believed to have a naturally soothing effect on most people.

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How might you expect people to react if they spend time in a room with red walls?
They may concentrate better.
They may become more energetic or aggressive.
Red is a color often associated with passion, anger, aggression and energy. It's no surprise that some salespeople paint their offices red — the color can help bring out their natural energy and assertiveness.
There will be no difference in their behavior; it's just a color, after all.

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What color might be best suited for a room that gets a lot of natural light?
yellow
While white will bounce light throughout a room, it can be a harsh color to use in this situation. Dark blue won't take advantage of the room's light, while yellow can enhance the warm glow of the sunlight.
dark blue
white

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What's the best color or paint scheme to use to make a room look larger?
white
a light hue with a darker accent wall
While plain white or beige can enhance the sense that a room is very large, using a light tone (light blue or smoke gray may work well) with a darker accent wall at the room's longer end can emphasize the size without making it feel vacant.
beige

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What are complementary colors?
colors located next to each other on the color wheel
colors that are opposite of each other on a color wheel
Colors can be arranged using the color wheel, a model developed by Sir Isaac Newton in the 1600s. Colors that are closer together on the wheel are less complementary than colors that are far apart.
colors that psychology research has shown will elicit the most praise from viewers

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Which is the best use of a contrasting color in a room?
Never use contrasting colors in room design; they're too jarring.
Use the contrasting color on every other decor item to create a rhythm.
Design the room to showcase one or two items painted in the contrasting color.
Contrasting colors can add strong focal points to rooms, but they're best if used with restraint. One or two key items in a strong contrasting color can give definition to an entire room.

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Why do paint stores sell sample sizes of paint colors?
They use them to unload excess paint.
Sample sizes are perfect for small jobs.
Samples allow you to see how the paint looks in your home's natural and artificial light.
Natural light, incandescent bulbs and compact fluorescent bulbs can all make a paint color look different. Painting part of a wall with a sample will help you determine what a color will look like in your home.

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What's a good shade of gray to use in a traditional home with conservative furnishings?
light gray
In a traditional home, a light shade of gray is probably best. Use darker grays if you're selling a modern loft, and save shiny hues for accent pieces.
dark gray
shiny, silvery gray

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What shade do color specialists advise you make your computer desktop if you want to be productive?
green
Green doesn't cause a lot of eyestrain, so you can save your energy for getting work done.
orange
white

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What's a good color to wear to the gym?
black
orange
Researchers have found that orange actually energizes you by increasing oxygen supply to the brain.
yellow

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What color should a woman wear on a date?
black
chartreuse
red
The color of passion, of course — red.

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What color should a man wear on a date?
red
blue
Women won't respond quite the same way if a man dresses in the color of passion, so blue, which indicates stability, is the way to go.
white

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What color is the visiting-team locker room at the University of Iowa's Kinnick Stadium?
baby blue
teal
pink
Yep, visiting teams have to suit up in a pink locker room.

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What's a good color to paint your office?
beige
yellow
blue
Blue is known to lower heart rate and promote calm and hopefulness.

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What's another good office color?
green
Green is associated with money and reduces anxiety.
off-white
mauve

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Which color is most associated with aggressiveness?
fuchsia
black
A 1999 study showed that NHL teams in black jerseys were assessed more penalties.
red

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In some countries, white is associated with purity and innocence. What does it symbolize in some African and Asian countries?
mourning
In Ethiopia and China, for example, white is a color of mourning.
promiscuity
rage

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Chromotherapy is the ancient practice of using colors to heal. Which part of the body was orange thought to help?
reproductive system
stomach
lungs
Chromotherapy is still practiced by alternative healers, and orange is said to stimulate the lungs.

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In a study involving different-colored placebo pills, which color pills did participants claim worked better?
cool colors
warm colors
Even though none of the placebos were having any effect, the study found that people thought the warm-colored pills were more effective.
desaturated colors

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What color streetlights are thought to reduce crime in some areas?
blue
Blue-tinted streetlights are reportedly crime-stoppers.
yellow
orange

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One study found that being shown this color before an exam caused poor performance.
black
red
In the study, students presented with a red participant number scored about 20 percent lower than the students who got a green or black number.
magenta

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Why is purple usually associated with wealth and royalty?
Versailles had only purple flowers.
It was Caesar's favorite color.
Purple dye used to be expensive.
Back in the day, purple dye was difficult and expensive to make, so it was worn only by those who could afford it.

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What color is the most fatiguing to the eye?
black
purple
yellow
Yellow tires out your eyes because it reflects so much light.

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What is NOT a good color to paint your baby's room?
blue
yellow
Studies have shown that people tend to fight more in yellow rooms, and babies cry more.
pink

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There is a color called "drunk-tank _____" that is used to calm prison inmates.
pink
The theory goes that Baker-Miller pink, otherwise known as "drunk-tank pink," is such a tranquil color that it's impossible to maintain violent behavior.
green
brown

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What shade do color experts say you should NEVER wear to work?
brown
gray
Gray connotes passivity and lack of energy, which is not exactly what you want to convey at the office.
black

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Some weight-loss programs recommend eating from this color plate.
black
brown
blue
Blue is generally considered to be the least appetizing color.

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In the 2004 Summer Olympics, the wrestling competitors were randomly given red or blue uniforms. Which color's competitors won 55 percent of their matches?
red
No surprise here that it was red. Fifty-five percent might not sound huge, but the researchers found that it was statistically significant.
blue

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A study by color expert Joe Hallock found that this color was the favorite of both men and women.
blue
Blue was reported as a favorite color by 57 percent of the men and 35 percent of the women.
red
purple

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Which two colors showed up as the least favorite colors in the study?
brown and orange
Brown and orange were the big losers.
black and yellow
green and purple

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You Got:
/30
Rostislav_Sedlacek/iStock/Thinkstock

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