Valence color preference and association

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Research has found that emotion-associated features, such as color, can influence our attention. However, what has been neglected is individuals may have their own color-valence preferences. For example, for some Asian people, red is positive, while for some western people, red is negative. In a study done by Stanković and colleagues (2023, Psychological Research), we showed that emotion-color association didn’t show significant effects on task performance in general, however, a closer look at individual responses told a different story. Depending on how a participant felt about a color (red or green) when associating it with emotions, it influenced their performance in the subsequent task.

Stanković, M., Müller, H. J., & Shi, Z. (2023). Task-irrelevant valence-preferred colors boost visual search for a singleton-shape target. Psychological Research. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00426-023-01880-2