Log in

No account? Create an account
16 November 2009 @ 10:38 am
blue vs ...  
When we're feeling sad or down, we say we're feeling blue. What colors go with other moods? Happy? Tired? Excited? Angry? ... others?
I'm feeling: curiouscurious
Randy Smithrandysmith on November 16th, 2009 03:43 pm (UTC)
The obvious ones: seeing red, green with envy, yellow (cowardice).
fanwfanw on November 16th, 2009 03:45 pm (UTC)
Feeling "blue"
"Green" with envy
Seeing "red"
"Yellow" = cowardly

don't know anything for orange or purple!
Blue Gargantuabluegargantua on November 16th, 2009 03:46 pm (UTC)

Orange you glad to see me?
B.K. DeLongbkdelong on November 16th, 2009 03:47 pm (UTC)
I've heard "purpled with rage" before
B.K. DeLongbkdelong on November 16th, 2009 03:46 pm (UTC)
Off the top of my head through varying associations of color (as opposed to current usage of slang in language) -

Happy - Yellow
Tired - Brown
Excited - Pink
Angry - Red
Depressed - Black
Active - Green
Mischievous - Indigo
Peaceful - Orange

Edited at 2009-11-16 03:48 pm (UTC)
Rowan: Fallmzrowan on November 16th, 2009 03:52 pm (UTC)
You can also be in a black mood, although then we get into the debate over whether black is a colour. ;-)
Rowan: Fallmzrowan on November 16th, 2009 03:54 pm (UTC)
Oh, and I think most people would understand roughly what you meant if you said, "I'm feeling grey," (which to me is best described as the stayed-up-all-night sketched-out kinda feeling).
Boring Nerd: boring nerdsignsoflife on November 16th, 2009 04:03 pm (UTC)
Well, "black" is a perception created in the brain by a certain pattern of cone stimulation (0, 0, 0), which can represent many different combinations of wavelengths of light and may vary from person to person and from animal to animal (e.g., a person without long-wavelength cones will perceive as black what a person with long-wavelength cones will perceive as deep red; a human will perceive as black what many birds will perceive as ultra-violet.)

The other possible interpretation of "black", as a complete absence of electro-magnetic radiation, just doesn't exist in this universe as far as I know.

So I'd say black's a color.

(I can't help it, I've been writing the color vision test this weekend and just finished reading up on UV perception in birds. . . )
unintentionally intimidatingcoraline on November 16th, 2009 04:20 pm (UTC)
David Policardpolicar on November 16th, 2009 04:56 pm (UTC)
a human will perceive as black what many birds will perceive as ultra-violet

The more I think about this phrase, the less sure I am that I know what it means.

The closest I come is that many birds distinguish via UV perception among colors that humans perceive as black.
Boring Nerd: boring nerdsignsoflife on November 16th, 2009 05:15 pm (UTC)
Birds have a cone cell which is sensitive in the near-ultraviolet. So, yes, they can distinguish between wavelengths of light which humans would perceive as "black".

I'd be careful about saying they can distinguish *among* colors in the near-UV; with only one cone being triggered[1], they wouldn't be able to distinguish between a brighter, lower-wavelength stimulus and a dimmer, higher-wavelength stimulus.

For instance, given three surfaces, one of which reflects 370nm light, one reflects 330nm light, and one reflects, say, 80nm light[2], the human will perceive them all as black; the bird will perceive the first two as UV and the third as black; but the first two will be two intensities of the same color, because only the UV cone is operating at those short wavelengths.

Birds also use the UV cone in combination with others to perceive mixed colors, like humans do, but I'm not getting into that here.

[1] we know only one kind of cone's being triggered because birds' other cones overlap with human vision.

[2] the article I'm referring to as I make up these numbers actually cuts off the bottom of the chart for bird vision, so I picked 80nm out of the air as being way way low.

Edited at 2009-11-16 05:16 pm (UTC)
funner'n a sack a weaselsmoominmolly on November 16th, 2009 05:23 pm (UTC)
I love your current reading list. I foresee it being extra fun to talk to you in the coming weeks.
Chancemiss_chance on November 17th, 2009 12:23 am (UTC)
Since you asked, that made total sense to me, at least. It was just better phrased than I usually encounter it in texts written for lay-people such as myself.

Can I see your citations? They sound like really fun articles to read. Also, I'm curious, I've heard bits and snippets about some people, apparently more commonly women than men, being quad-cromats (if that's the right word) and having more sensitivity in the green/blue-green end of the spectrum. Is that part of your current reading? I'd love to find more good writing on that.

What does "I've been writing the color vision test..." mean? That is to say- you could mean you were writing a test for students to assess and evaluate their understanding of how color vision functions, or You could mean you were writing, oh, I don't know, a program that produces various wavelengths of light and measures responses to assess and evaluate the sensitivity in an individual or animal to various light-wavelength-stimulii. I'm curios- either would be cool.
Boring Nerd: boring nerdsignsoflife on November 17th, 2009 04:29 am (UTC)
The article I'm using as a base for a lot of this is called "What Birds See", Scientific American July 2006 by Timothy Goldsmith. It's quite good.

Writing the test, in this instance, means writing questions for a midterm for undergrads.

Regarding "female tetrachromatism" -- the number of studies on it seems limited, but people who look for it seem to find it. Or, more specifically, it's a fact that some women have at least four photopigments; the actual question is whether that leads to better color discrimination. The foundational article seems to be Jameson, Highnote and Wasserman, 2001, Richer color experience in observers with multiple photopigment opsin genes, PSYCHONOMIC BULLETIN & REVIEW Issue 8 volume 2 244-261. (I haven't dug through the whole article.)

(I'm using "female" and "male" to mean people with at least two and only one X chromosome(s), respectively. I realize this is at best imprecise.)

The basic idea is that the genes for the pigments of the medium and long wavelength cones are on the X chromosome, and there's a surprising amount of polymorphism in them. When men get a "green" and a "red" gene which are too similar, they present with red-green color blindness. The mechanism proposed for female tetrachromatism is that, when one has two X chromosomes, one can have not just medium and long wavelength cones, but a medium-long wavelength cone type *in addition*. If having M and L is "normal", then having ML and L limits color perception, but having M, ML, and L can actually enhance it.

What Jameson et al did was actually genotype a bunch of subjects (typical psych-study volunteers) and found that women who had two alleles for at least one photopigment gene, and so had at least four photopigment types, performed significantly better at color discrimination tasks than women and men who had only 3 expected photopigment types.

This seems to be a non-stupid discussion of Jameson et al.

There's another article, Rodriguez-Carmona et al. 2008, Sex-related differences in chromatic sensitivity, Visual Neuroscience 25:3 433-440. It finds that women have significantly better color discrimination than men on the red-green axis but not the blue-yellow axis, which suggests again the mechanism of polymorphism in the X-linked genes for the green and red cones.

In any case, however, the added color discrimination is nothing like the degree of color discrimination in birds -- the added photopigments are within the normal human range, and, if anything, extend it only a little bit.

I am almost certainly making mistakes, confusing details, and interpolating wrong assumptions above; I'm an interested bystander in color vision theory, and the female tetrachromatism isn't even material we've presented to the students.

Edited at 2009-11-17 11:03 am (UTC)
Boring Nerdsignsoflife on November 16th, 2009 05:44 pm (UTC)
(by the way, I'd really like to know how much sense that made, and what was especially unclear.)
Coscos on November 16th, 2009 04:23 pm (UTC)
I say it's not a colour. It's a color. :)
גילנהgilana on November 16th, 2009 04:06 pm (UTC)
In the pink!
funner'n a sack a weaselsmoominmolly on November 16th, 2009 04:32 pm (UTC)
without thinking or peeking, these are my associations
Green = envy, red = passion (either anger or lust), yellow = cowardly.

White: calm and loving
Blue: down/depressed, but also reminds me of water, and so reminds me of deep emotions.
Black: in a black mood = angry and depressed at the same time, maybe?
Orange doesn't have a canonical mood association for me but almost always seems happy and bright. Purple likewise doesn't, but always seems creative.
pumpkin_pi on November 16th, 2009 04:37 pm (UTC)
I seem to remember there being some kind of thing about green M&Ms and horniness.
whynotkaywhynotkay on November 16th, 2009 04:50 pm (UTC)
Doesn't this depend on culture? For example, white is the traditional color used for mourning in China, and red for luck/happiness. I bet they don't associate red with anger, but I could be totally wrong.
Preraphaelitepreraphaelite on November 16th, 2009 05:52 pm (UTC)
Tickled pink!
jordanwillow: cabiria smilingjordanwillow on November 16th, 2009 05:55 pm (UTC)
Always kind of loved thinking about anxiety as the "mean reds." From Breakfast at Tiffany's: The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid and you don't know what you're afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?
the independent republic of nopantsistanfraterrisus on November 16th, 2009 06:40 pm (UTC)
well, there's the classic psychological data that certain colors provoke certain moods (which is what leads to Hospital Interior Green walls), but i think that's backwards from what you're thinking of.

i knew some folks who used "beige" as the ultimate indicator of mediocrity, boredom, or the dead middle of any spectrum. "How you feeling today?" "Kinda beige."
the independent republic of nopantsistanfraterrisus on November 16th, 2009 06:41 pm (UTC)
also, this is sort of cheating, but http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_symbolism_and_psychology

ETA: which is an OH MY GOD terribly written WP article in DESPERATE need of editing.

Edited at 2009-11-16 06:42 pm (UTC)
veek on November 16th, 2009 07:39 pm (UTC)
For me, it often depends on the season. In the spring and summer, green == sunny, fresh, airy, free.

Yeah, I've got the same conditioning as many other people about envy, cowardice, passion etc., but often colors correlate with moods in my head based on their luminosity, not their hue.
born from jets!!!: catVcatness on November 16th, 2009 09:21 pm (UTC)
Looks like your other commenters have covered all the phrases in use for colors. For me, personally, I find that the absence of color is best for me in terms of mood.

Bright colors (with the exception of bright purple) almost always cause me low level stress and make me uncomfortable. (For instance, the default of your LJ makes want to look ANYWHERE else on my computer screen, or better yet, at something not a computer at all.) Very dark instances of bright colors seem to be okay, as long as there's only one of those dark colors inhabiting otherwise neutral space.

Tan and other shades of light brown always leave me feeling dissatisfied on their own. They can be used okay with other neutrals, though.

When I see something that is dark or gunmetal grey colored, I always like whatever it is WAY beyond normal levels of "like". Sometimes it will take me awhile to figure it out, too. "Wow, that house on the corner is totally beat. Why do I think it's so cool?" 3 days later... "Oh, right. GREY."

Shiny seems to overcome my innate loathing of bright color. If it's red, but *metallic*, I'll like it. I won't necessarily decorate my room with it, but I'll *like* it. WTH is up with that?
Ellenkeyne on November 16th, 2009 11:10 pm (UTC)
From a favorite song:

"... Blue is much too bright to be the way I feel these days.
'Cause blue is sky -- blue is sea;
Grey is nothing, just like me.
I think of how it used to be,
And it sure gives me the greys."
lazyz: cavedrawinglazyz on November 17th, 2009 03:36 pm (UTC)
Color in Religious Symbolism
White: Symbol of light; signifies purity; joy and glory
Red: Symbol of fire and blood; signifies charity
Blue: Symbol of heaven; signifies truth
Green: Symbol of nature; signifies hope of eternal life
Purple: Signifies sorrow and suffering
Black: Signifies death
Color in Heraldry
Yellow or Gold: Honor and loyalty
Silver or White: Faith and purity
Red: Bravery and courage
Black: Grief and sorrow
Green: Youth and hope
Purple: High rank and royalty
Orange: Strength and endurance
Red-purple: Sacrifice
Thud.  Mac-Thud.macthud on November 20th, 2009 09:54 pm (UTC)
I am amazed to find that no-one else noted that (yellow) and (blue) have both been linked to curiousness by at least by one observer.