The effect of colour on children's cognitive performance

Brooker, Alice and Franklin, Anna (2016) The effect of colour on children's cognitive performance. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 86 (2). pp. 241-255. ISSN 0007-0998

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The presence of red appears to hamper adults’ cognitive performance relative to other colours (see Elliot & Maier, 2014, Ann. Rev. Psychol. 65, 95).

Aims and sample
Here, we investigate whether colour affects cognitive performance in 8- and 9-year-olds.

Children completed a battery of tasks once in the presence of a coloured screen that was one of eight colours and once in the presence of a grey screen. Performance was assessed for each colour relative to the grey baseline, and differences across colours were compared.

We find a significant difference in performance across colours, with significantly worse performance in the presence of red than grey. The effect of colour did not significantly interact with task.

The findings suggest that colour can affect children's cognitive performance and that there is a detrimental effect of red. Findings are related to the adult literature and implications for educational contexts are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
Depositing User: Lene Hyltoft
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2015 15:32
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2016 10:31
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