Emotional Responses to Color Environments: An Experimental Study on Young and Older Adults Using a sSemi-Immersive Virtual Environment01/01/2011
Color in our environment is known to bring emotional, social, and physiological reactions to people. This study is about young and older adults' emotional responses to color environments using a semi immersive virtual environment. As a theoretical framework, this study explores Japanese psychologist Kobayashi's color image scale with real-scale, high-fidelity computer simulations. There are three goals of this study: (a) to test universal applicability of Kobayashi's color image scale theory in western country; (B) to understand similarities and differences of emotional responses to color environment between young and older adults group; (C) to provide a practical framework for empirical research on emotional responses to color environment. The study was carried out in the midwestern region of the United States. There were two participant groups: 34 college students (17 male and 17 female) and 10 assisted living residents (all female). Participants looked at a computer simulated bedroom in a screen and were asked to answer their emotional response using a 7-point adjective rating scale. Total 12 different color combinations of bedroom were shown to participants. Data were analyzed using SPSS program. Results indicate that compared to older groups, younger groups show significantly high applicability of color image scale, and emotional responses were different between the young and older group. Also, the result shows this experiment is a useful tool for empirical research for emotional response to color environment. The desired result of this study is to assist administrators and practitioners to make informed decisions in choosing interior colors.