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Using Colour To Influence Decision Making

This e-book attempts to give us an insight into colours and their meanings. It is not a lengthy book, and the chapters do not go into detail, indeed the section on 'Colours of the months' just lists the months with their respective colours, and offers no explanation as to why they are so.

I felt that the 'book' was really a list of bullet points - the layout also suggested this. However, the content of some sections was informative. I was surprised to learn that musical notes have colours associated with them. I would be interested in seeing how an Aurotone works, and perhaps use it as an influence in my artwork.

I was aware of a lot of the information covered in the book, through my study of photography and the media in previous courses. This affected the way I read and appreciated the book. I found it hard to keep reading because I was not sufficiently interested in the subject. This, and the fact that a lot of information was repeated throughout the sections, made me feel that the book had been 'padded-out' somewhat.

It is possible to become thoroughly confused by the myriad of psychological test results. As the author points out, black is associated with death, yet it is also one of the most fashionable colours for clothing. This demonstrates that it is important to distinguish between different contexts when applying psychological decision-making. A lot of our associations with various colours are affected by personal experience, especially when a child. It is difficult to see how psychology of colour can provide facts, as rules cannot be established. However, tendencies towards certain colour associations can be established. This is highlighted while looking through home and lifestyle magazines. As the author suggests, warm tones are popular as they provide a cosy feel to a living room, and the majority of people want to feel relaxed at home.

The last section of the book lists popular colours and their psychological attributes. This section is the most useful as it acts as a reference for, and a summary of, the whole book. The reference section was concise and would provide a researcher of colour psychology with useful information.

The author has obviously researched the subject thoroughly, as shown by the extensive bibliography. However, the presentation of the information could have been more concise. The content was relevant, although I would have appreciated more on the historical context of colour psychology, and how it evolved. Perhaps there is no research or documentation available in this area.

Another unfortunate omission from the handouts was the inclusion of any charts, diagrams or colours! These may have been useful, especially in the section on the colour wheel, to improve understanding on the subject.

Recommendations are very useful when deciding on a book to purchase, but unfortunately I would not recommend this one. I am sure there are more useful guides in existence.