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How Colors Affect You: What Science Reveals

Being able to shape people's perspectives through your palette preference? Color us impressed.
How Colors Affect You: What Science Reveals is rated 4.3 out of 5 by 177.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from insightful Will's course on color was truly insightful and fun to watch. He had numerous examples, told in a very engaging manner. I was not aware of how much I am impacted by color before taking this course. I highly recommend it!
Date published: 2024-01-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great, with one exception First, my complaint: I could be wrong, but I do not see a course guidebook. That’s a little disappointing; It makes it difficult to refer back when you want to look something up. That having been said, this course is a ton of fun. Professor Lidwell provides all sorts of interesting research about how people react to various colors. One item I thought fascinating was his insight that, apparently, western culture had little or no concept of the color blue until about the 2d Millennium BCE. And while I might combine his recommendations about what to wear under different circumstances with other considerations, they are certainly interesting to listen to.
Date published: 2023-07-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from one of the best courses on color! I am a designer did hundreds of courses and lectures on color and most i learned here was new to me! Its really a different view on colors and their use and how its depends, i enjoyed each lecture !
Date published: 2022-10-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good info Its pretty good! It cleared up some questions I had about color and I was able to apply that knowledge and actually saw improvements in my color choices and combinations. Personally I believe this is best bought on sale, If I payed full price I would have felt ripped off tbh but if you can pick it up for less go for it! You can probably find all the info on YouTube however he puts it in a way that I haven’t seen or heard on YouTube and you know that he knows what he’s talking about.
Date published: 2022-08-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Real World I truly enjoyed not only the presentation, but the presenter. The course was easy to listen to, watch, and understand. I especially loved the real world pertinence. I am a crafter by hobby, and work in a customer service field, so color is very important to me and to how my "customer" reacts. I have found many of the results of testing done that are presented in the course in my day-to-day life. I found other findings to be very surprising, yet as they are explained, very understandable. Overall a very well done lecture series!
Date published: 2022-08-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Precise This was an extraordinary series. The lecturer wasted no words, spoke slowly and clearly, and communicated scientific research in an understandable but still with sufficient detail to appreciate the scientific method.
Date published: 2022-06-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting Course Covered the basics with color characteristics, scientific research and real world applications. The only problem that i had was with the video. It was normally fuzzy and/or pixilated.
Date published: 2022-06-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I had no idea that colors had so much of an effect on us. This was a very interesting course
Date published: 2022-01-26
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Discover how color influences your brain-and how you can use those insights to your advantage-in this eye-opening course from a best-selling author and expert on design.


William Lidwell

Did you know that pink rooms will not calm aggressive prisoners or zap the strength of opposing teams, and yellow walls in the nursery will not cause babies to cry more often?


University of Houston

Professor William Lidwell lectures at the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture at the University of Houston. He also serves as Director of Innovation and Development at the Stuff Creators Design Studio in Houston, Texas. He earned his B.A. in Psychology from Texas State University and his M.S. in Interaction and Instructional Design from the University of Houston-Clear Lake. A designer, teacher, and author, Professor Lidwell has over 20 years of experience working in product design and user interaction. He frequently consults on matters of design and consumer experience with leading firms, including Harrah's, IKEA, Merrill Lynch, and Procter & Gamble. He also founded and has supported numerous start-up companies, ranging from online learning environments to heirloom furniture design stores to food trucks. Professor Lidwell is the author of the best-selling design guide Universal Principles of Design, which has been translated into more than 20 languages. He has written and edited other works, including Deconstructing Product Design, the Makeshift column for MAKE Magazine, and Guidelines for Excellence in Management.

By This Professor

How Colors Affect You: What Science Reveals
How Colors Affect You: What Science Reveals


The Meanings of Color

01: The Meanings of Color

Begin your exploration of how colors affect you with a look at the general science behind color, first uncovered during landmark experiments by Isaac Newton. Then, investigate the pervasive power of color on human behavior with a close look at how color shapes our perception of what food tastes like. Finally, with the aid of intriguing experiments and illuminating case studies, discover the three core ideas that form the foundation of how all humans perceive, interpret, and respond to color.

35 min
The Black and White Lecture

02: The Black and White Lecture

Contrary to what you may think, black and white are colors like any other when examined from the perspective of what your brain sees. In fact, they’re the only true universal colors. In this fascinating lecture, Professor Lidwell takes you inside the meanings behind these two elemental colors. You focus on two specific contexts for black and white: competitive contexts (where black signals aggression and white signals submission) and moral contexts (where black signals evil and white signals goodness).

32 min
The Red Lecture

03: The Red Lecture

Turn now to the color red, which holds a unique place in the pantheon of colors, thanks to its primal significance in expressing fear, strength, beauty, status, and passion. What do we know with confidence about the meanings behind the color red? Find out by examining several powerful examples of the color red at work: in competitive situations, where it signals dominance; in mating and courtship roles, where it represents male status and female fertility; and in more general situations, where it signals danger and avoidance.

33 min
The Yellow Lecture

04: The Yellow Lecture

Why is yellow the most vibrant color to the human eye? How does the human eye detect yellow wavelengths so effectively? Why is there such a fine line between “good” and “bad” shades of yellow? When does yellow signal health or weakness, happiness or danger? How can it work to help increase cognitive performance? Find the answers to these and other provocative questions in this richly detailed and rewarding lecture on one of nature’s most powerful colors.

32 min
The Green Lecture

05: The Green Lecture

Life. Fertility. Envy. Success. These are just a few of the many common associations the brain makes with the color green. Here, Professor Lidwell takes you even deeper into this lush color, guiding you through an exploration of two lesser-known contexts of green: as a way to foster creativity and a way to reduce anxiety and mental fatigue. You’ll also get a chance to probe some more anecdotal (but self-evident) psychological associations with green, including the ways it signals “naturalness” and “approach.”

31 min
The Blue Lecture

06: The Blue Lecture

In this final lecture, focus on the last color in the logical color sequence and one of the most commonly chosen favorite colors throughout the world: blue. As you’ll discover, there are some interesting and unique properties of the color blue that set it apart from other colors and make it seem, in some respects, almost magical. You’ll learn about the ways blue fosters and promotes openness and creativity; friendliness and peacefulness; alertness and well-being; and also sadness and melancholy.

39 min