V. Ryan © 2004 - 2009



It has been known for a long time that colours influences the way we feel and even our emotions. People often associate colours with the emotions and happy or sad events. Light colours are known to help people feel more relaxed whilst dark colours create a more serious atmosphere. Once it was believed that classrooms should be coloured with shades of blues as they were thought to promote an atmosphere of learning. What do you think?

Try the following experiment:

You may be studying a well known book (such as ‘Animal Farm’ or ‘Wuthering Heights’) with a class of English Language pupils. Alternatively you may be using a text book in Science of an Arithmetic text book in Maths. Ask your teacher if you can temporarily cover the class set of books with equal numbers of deep blue and bright red covers. Mix the covered books so that the books are randomly arranged on a desktop. As the pupils enter the classroom ask each to pick up a copy of the book. Do not try to influence their selection and do not explain that it is an experiment. If they ask why the books are covered simply say that each book has a protective cover. You will soon be able to determine which colour is most popular.

Ed the Handyman must decide which colour is associated with learning. As he cannot read his choice is down to colour alone and not the content of the book.


Has anyone ever said to you that a certain colour suits you? More than likely this has happened. It has been said that the colours of our clothes reflect our personality.

Try the following experiment:

List the names of people in your class and write a short sentence alongside each, stating what you think is their personality. For example, are they outward going, quite, loud, happy, often angry etc.... Then ask each pupil what their favourite colour is. Are those people who are happy associated with a particular colour? Are those pupils who are quite associated with a particular colour. To find out if there is a link between favourite colour and personality you may have to list at least 100 pupils or even more. The more people you ask, the more interesting the findings of the survey.

Social Scientists state that people who favour red are more ‘pushy’ and forthright. On the other hand people wearing blue are more likely to be quite and reserved. Do you think this is right?



Ed the Handyman businessman and owner of  'Colour World' - Remember, the colours we choose can determine the way people view us. Will Ed conform to ordinary business colours rather than vibrant colours?






In the 1960’s the Presidential Election in the USA was between Richard Nixon and John F Kennedy. All information suggested that the outcome of the election would be very close. The main focus of attention was a live debate on television. Richard Nixon wore a light coloured suit whereas John F Kennedy wore a dark suit. The people who listened to the debate on the radio thought the Nixon had won the discussions. On the other hand, those that watched the debate on TV (on Black and White TVs - not colour) believed emphatically that Kennedy had won.


It is now believed that Kennedy looked a more prominent person because of his dark suit. Nixon’s light coloured suit made him look much smaller and less significant. After the TV debate Kennedy took a lead in the election polls and won the Presidential Election. Is this the first time that the choice of colour has determined the leader of the Western World?


Sit in the centre of a business area or a city centre. Look at the colour of the clothing of the office workers as they pass by. What colours do they wear? It is likely that they wear darker colours (associated with official/serious office work) rather than light, bright and colourful clothing.