The sun is no fun without rain: Physical environments affect how we feel about yellow across 55 countries

Domicele Jonauskaite, Ahmed M. Abdel-Khalek, Ahmad Abu-Akel, Abdulrahman Saud Al-Rasheed, Jean Philippe Antonietti, Árni Gunnar Ásgeirsson, Kokou Amenyona Atitsogbe, Marodégueba Barma, Daniel Barratt, Victoria Bogushevskaya, Maliha Khadidja Bouayed Meziane, Amer Chamseddine, Thammanard Charernboom, Eka Chkonia, Teofil Ciobanu, Violeta Corona, Allison Creed, Nele Dael, Hassan Daouk, Nevena DimitrovaCornelis B. Doorenbos, Sergejs Fomins, Eduardo Fonseca-Pedrero, Augusta Gaspar, Alena Gizdic, Yulia A. Griber, Gina M. Grimshaw, Aya Ahmed Hasan, Jelena Havelka, Marco Hirnstein, Bodil S.A. Karlsson, Stephen Katembu, Jejoong Kim, Nikos Konstantinou, Eric Laurent, Marjaana Lindeman, Banu Manav, Lynn Marquardt, Philip Mefoh, Aleksandra Mroczko-Wąsowicz, Phillip Mutandwa, Georgette Ngabolo, Daniel Oberfeld, Marietta Papadatou-Pastou, Corinna M. Perchtold, Alicia Pérez-Albéniz, Niloufar Pouyan, Tanjir Rashid Soron, Maya Roinishvili, Lyudmyla Romanyuk, Alejandro Salgado Montejo, Aygun Sultanova, Ramiro Tau, Mari Uusküla, Suvi Vainio, Veronica Vargas-Soto, Eliz Volkan, Grażyna Wąsowicz, Sunčica Zdravković, Meng Zhang, Christine Mohr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Across cultures, people associate colours with emotions. Here, we test the hypothesis that one driver of this cross-modal correspondence is the physical environment we live in. We focus on a prime example – the association of yellow with joy, – which conceivably arises because yellow is reminiscent of life-sustaining sunshine and pleasant weather. If so, this association should be especially strong in countries where sunny weather is a rare occurrence. We analysed yellow-joy associations of 6625 participants from 55 countries to investigate how yellow-joy associations varied geographically, climatologically, and seasonally. We assessed the distance to the equator, sunshine, precipitation, and daytime hours. Consistent with our hypotheses, participants who live further away from the equator and in rainier countries are more likely to associate yellow with joy. We did not find associations with seasonal variations. Our findings support a role for the physical environment in shaping the affective meaning of colour.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101350
JournalJournal of Environmental Psychology
Volume66
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation, providing a Doc.CH fellowship grant to DJ (P0LAP1_175055) and a project funding grant to CM & NDa (100014_182138). MH was supported by a research grant from the Bergen Research Foundation (BFS2016REK03). YG was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (17-29-09145). The initiation of this research was possible through the support of AkzoNobel, Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) Limited, and in particular David Elliott and Tom Curwen, Color R&I team, Slough, UK, and Stephanie Kraneveld, Sassenheim, the Netherlands. We would like to further thank all the people who have contributed to the translation of the survey or to data collection, but have not provided further contributions: Chaman Afrooz Chowdhury (Bengali), Gumru Ahmadova (Azerbaijani), Felipe Andrade (Portuguese), Archil Begiashvili (Georgian), Gildas Bika (Gabon), Oh-Hyeon Choung (Korean), Yishin Chuang (Traditional Chinese), Emilija Emma (Lithuanian), Agnieszka Gawda (Polish), Stephanie Hong (Korean), Aydan Ismayilova (Azerbaijani), Jamila Ismayilova (Azerbaijani), Aurika Jonauskien? (Lithuanian), Vita Kalnberzi?a (Latvian), Bruno Kemm (Spanish & Portuguese), Richard Klein (French), ?rni Kristj?nsson (Icelandic), Gunta Kr?mi?a (Latvian), Junghee Lee (Korean), Tiraya Lerthattasilp (Thai), Abraham Lim Ken Zhi (Traditional Chinese), Arnt Lykke Jakobsen (Danish), Sarah Malekolkalami (Persian), Lucian Marin (Romanian), Riina Martinson (Estonian), Marilena Syrimi (Cyprus), Jung Min Shin (Korean), Tanisha Momtaz (Bengali), Galina Paramei (Russian), Mushfiqur Rahman (Bengali), Anchalita Ratanajaruraks (Thai), Angela Rowe (Spanish), Juliet Rowe (Spanish), Haerin Shin (Korean), Kristian Tangsgaard Hvelplund (Danish), Angeliki Theodoridou (Greek), Evelina Thunell (Swedish), Alessandro Tremea (Italian), Laura Winther Balling (Danish), Ji Won Hur (Korean), Yaffa Yeshurun (Hebrew), and S?lveig ?orsteinsd?ttir (Icelandic). Finally, we would like to thank all the participants.

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation , providing a Doc.CH fellowship grant to DJ ( P0LAP1_175055 ) and a project funding grant to CM & NDa ( 100014_182138 ). MH was supported by a research grant from the Bergen Research Foundation ( BFS2016REK03 ). YG was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research ( 17-29-09145 ). The initiation of this research was possible through the support of AkzoNobel , Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) Limited, and in particular David Elliott and Tom Curwen, Color R&I team, Slough, UK, and Stephanie Kraneveld, Sassenheim, the Netherlands. We would like to further thank all the people who have contributed to the translation of the survey or to data collection, but have not provided further contributions: Chaman Afrooz Chowdhury (Bengali), Gumru Ahmadova (Azerbaijani), Felipe Andrade (Portuguese), Archil Begiashvili (Georgian), Gildas Bika (Gabon), Oh-Hyeon Choung (Korean), Yishin Chuang (Traditional Chinese), Emilija Emma (Lithuanian), Agnieszka Gawda (Polish), Stephanie Hong (Korean), Aydan Ismayilova (Azerbaijani), Jamila Ismayilova (Azerbaijani), Aurika Jonauskienė (Lithuanian), Vita Kalnberziņa (Latvian), Bruno Kemm (Spanish & Portuguese), Richard Klein (French), Árni Kristjánsson (Icelandic), Gunta Krūmiņa (Latvian), Junghee Lee (Korean), Tiraya Lerthattasilp (Thai), Abraham Lim Ken Zhi (Traditional Chinese), Arnt Lykke Jakobsen (Danish), Sarah Malekolkalami (Persian), Lucian Marin (Romanian), Riina Martinson (Estonian), Marilena Syrimi (Cyprus), Jung Min Shin (Korean), Tanisha Momtaz (Bengali), Galina Paramei (Russian), Mushfiqur Rahman (Bengali), Anchalita Ratanajaruraks (Thai), Angela Rowe (Spanish), Juliet Rowe (Spanish), Haerin Shin (Korean), Kristian Tangsgaard Hvelplund (Danish), Angeliki Theodoridou (Greek), Evelina Thunell (Swedish), Alessandro Tremea (Italian), Laura Winther Balling (Danish), Ji Won Hur (Korean), Yaffa Yeshurun (Hebrew), and Sólveig þorsteinsdóttir (Icelandic). Finally, we would like to thank all the participants.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019

Keywords

  • Affect
  • Climate
  • Colour
  • Cross-cultural
  • Emotion
  • Environment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

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