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Gender differences in colour preferences

Goal: Cross-cultural study of human colour preferences

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Valérie Bonnardel
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Cross-cultural study of human colour preferences
 
Valérie Bonnardel
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A gender difference in color preference has been repeatedly reported among English speakers, with a secondary preference among females for pink-purple colors, modulating a primary preference from both sexes for "cool" over "warm" hues. However, this group difference leaves much individual variation in preference patterns unaccounted-for. Here we examine personality traits and gender schemata as possible determinants. Preference choices across sixteen hue samples were elicited from 120 young British psychology students, who also rated themselves on the International Personality Item Pool and Bem Sex Role Inventory questionnaires. Principal Component Analysis reduced their individual preference variations to four prototypical patterns. Some associations emerged between preference and personality; these may be culturally determined. Links with gender schemata were less substantial.
Valérie Bonnardel
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Valérie Bonnardel
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A gender difference in color preference among British participants has been repeatedly reported in independent studies (Bonnardel et al., 2006; Ling et al., 2006, Bonnardel & Lanning, 2010). While both males and females showed a preference for blue-green colors, females additionally expressed a preference for pink-purple colors. To investigate the robustness of gender difference in color preference in a different culture, we tested 81 young adult Indians from a School of Design and compared them to 80 young British students in Psychology. Results confirm a gender difference in color preference of the same nature in the Indian and British samples with a preference among females for pink and purple colors. Cultural differences were only observed among females; in contrast to Indian females, the British females preferred lavender to orange colors.
A gender difference in color preference among British participants has been repeatedly reported in independent studies (Bonnardel et al., 2006; Ling et al., 2006, Bonnardel & Lanning, 2010). While both males and females showed a preference for blue-green colors, females additionally expressed a preference for pink-purple colors. To investigate the robustness of gender difference in color preference in a different culture, we tested 81 young adult Indians from a School of Design and compared them to 80 young British students in Psychology. Results confirm a gender difference in color preference of the same nature in the Indian and British samples with a preference among females for pink and purple colors. Cultural differences were only observed among females; in contrast to Indian females, the Bristish females prefered lavender to orange colors.
Valérie Bonnardel
added a research item
A gender difference in color preference among British participants has been repeatedly reported, in which both males and females show a preference for blue-green colors, while females express an additional preference for pink-purple colors. To investigate the robustness of gender difference in color preference in a different culture, we tested 81 young adult Indians from a school of design and compared them to 80 young British students in Psychology. The 35-item International Personality Item Pool (IPIP) and Bem Sex Role Inventory (BSRI) questionnaires were also administered to explore possible links between personality traits, gender schemata, and color preferences. Results confirmed a gender difference in both cultures; participants collectively expressed a preference for cool over warm colors, while in addition females showed a preference for pink colors, with a warm bias for Indian females and a cool bias for British females. While these results extend gender difference to Indian culture and support the universal-ity of an underlying pattern they also reveal a culture-specific contribution essentially observed in females. In British participants, color preference was correlated exclusively with BSRI scores in females and overwhelmingly with IPIP scores in males; this gender-specific pattern of correlation was not replicated in the Indian sample. Results point to an archetypal pattern of gender difference in color preference with a remarkable cross-cultural similarity in men and a subtle but significant cultural difference in women whose origin is yet to be explained.