The color brain test, also known as the color personality test or color psychology test, is a personality assessment designed to reveal insights about a person’s character, strengths, weaknesses, emotional needs, self-image, and more based on color preferences. The idea behind the color brain test is that color preferences reflect deeper patterns within the psyche.
History of the Color Brain Test
The origins of the color brain test can be traced back to the early 20th century and the work of Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung. Jung theorized that color preference reveals aspects of one’s psychological makeup and unconscious impulses. He associated certain colors with four major personality types:
- Red – Extroverted, action-oriented, ambitious
- Blue – Logical, rational, intellectual
- Green – Cooperative, well-balanced, harmony-seeking
- Yellow – Optimistic, spontaneous, playful
Building on Jung’s color symbolism, Max Lüscher developed the Lüscher Color Test in 1947. It uses a person’s ranking of eight colored cards to evaluate psychological, mental, emotional, and spiritual states. Though criticized for lack of standardization and empirical support, the Lüscher test sparked wider interest in color psychology.
Since then, a proliferation of online color personality tests have appeared, many drawing inspiration from Jung and Lüscher’s work. While their scientific validity is debated, color brain tests remain popular for self-assessment and team-building.
What Does the Color Brain Test Measure?
There are many variations of the color brain test, but most evaluate personality across several key dimensions:
- Perceptual – sensory preferences, information processing style
- Emotional – moods, stress levels, expressiveness
- Spiritual – ideals, imagination, creativity
- Physical – energy, action orientation, sexuality
- Mental – intellect, analysis, logic
- Self-Image – confidence, independence, ego
- Relationships – intimacy, trust, sociability
- Occupational – achievement, leadership, competitiveness
By rating a series of colors, the test aims to reveal an individual’s preferences, inclinations, desires, fears, and hidden impulses in each of these areas.
Color Meanings in the Test
While interpretations vary, colors tend to carry common symbolic associations in the color brain test:
- Red – Energy, passion, aggression, impulse
- Orange – Warmth, creativity, adventure, confidence
- Yellow – Optimism, friendliness, intuition, anxiety
- Green – Growth, balance, safety, conformity
- Blue – Stability, intellect, coolness, melancholy
- Purple – Luxury, spirituality, imagination, uncertainty
- Black – Power, sophistication, defiance, fear
- White – Purity, innocence, space, emptiness
Deeper shades tend to denote heavier, more intense color energies. Lighter tints suggest subtlety and softness of meaning.
Administering the Color Brain Test
Online color brain tests are administered in a variety of ways. Some common formats include:
- Ranking or ordering colors from most to least preferred
- Selecting colors considered most and least descriptive of one’s personality
- Choosing colors spontaneously associated with various concepts or values
- Rating individual color swatches on scales from “dislike” to “love”
- Picking colors that elicit positive, negative or neutral reactions
Results are determined by analyzing an individual’s color evaluations against established profiles for each hue. Feedback may be immediate or require interpretation by a color psychologist. Tests often conclude with personalized descriptions of core personality traits based on color selections.
Classification of Personality Types
While approaches vary, most color brain assessments classify individuals into personality types or color profiles, such as:
Warm Color Personalities
- Reds – Competitive, passionate, daring, aggressive
- Oranges – Gregarious, generous, optimistic, risk-taking
- Yellows – Curious, creative, charismatic, anxious
Cool Color Personalities
- Greens – Calm, caring, conventional, reluctant
- Blues – Analytical, faithful, reflective, moody
- Purples – Artistic, intuitive, idiosyncratic, introverted
Neutral Color Personalities
- Whites – Objective, simple, peaceful, detached
- Blacks – Sophisticated, elegant, mysterious, pessimistic
- Grays – Practical, stable, reserved, stoic
Multicolor types like “Blue-Green” or “Red-Yellow” are also sometimes designated.
Examples of Color Brain Test Profiles
Here are some representative personality sketches generated from color brain test results:
“Your primary color choice suggests a Red personality type. Reds are action-oriented go-getters who thrive on challenge and competition. You likely come across as energetic, passionate, and ambitious. Your dynamism draws people in, though you can also be quick-tempered and domineering. You value honesty and results. You want to lead the pack and be #1. Your enthusiasm is contagious when inspired, but frustration is imminent when you feel constrained. Honing patience and cooperation will help channel your immense drive.”
“Your affinity for Blue indicates a personality type that is analytical, precise and thoughtful. You tend to be highly intelligent and insightful, but also reserved and formal at times. You thrive when focused on solving complex problems that require logic and objectivity. But your intellectual intensity can distance you from others emotionally. Making connections through shared ideals, dreams or imagination can provide balance. Cherish creativity and vision to keep your mind uplifted and inspired.”
“Your attraction to Green suggests a personality that values harmony, peace and balance. You come across as gentle, caring and responsible. You have an innate need to help and connect with others. But your cooperative nature may also prompt you to merge your own needs with those of the group. Establish your unique gifts and voice apart from others’ expectations. Though slow to anger, your resentment may build when values are compromised. Self-care is essential for you, as is articulating your needs.”
Validity of the Color Brain Test
Reviews on the scientific accuracy of the color brain test are mixed. Supporters contend that:
- Extensive anecdotal evidence points to the revealing power of color preferences.
- Many patterns and profiles align with established personality theory.
- Color meanings have deep cultural and biological roots.
- Projective tests can evoke the unconscious in ways direct queries cannot.
Skeptics argue that:
- The subjective nature makes results difficult to quantify and study empirically.
- Color meanings vary between cultures, individuals, and contexts.
- Preferences are influenced by factors like color exposure and associations.
- Archetypal profiles lack nuance and range.
- The Forer effect may inflate perceived accuracy.
Overall, experts characterize color psychology as an exploratory rather than rigorously validated science at this stage. Responsible practitioners present color profiles as tentative hypotheses to verify through lived experience, not definitive analyses.
Uses of the Color Brain Test
Potential applications of the color brain test include:
- Self-discovery – Gain insights about unconscious motivations, fears, strengths, weaknesses, emotional patterns, and sensory needs.
- Communication – Understand color perspectives to better collaborate with team members, colleagues, clients and partners.
- Relationships – Identify compatibility between color profiles and temperaments in romance, friendship and family.
- Career – Discover vocational environments and roles that best fit one’s color personality, values and energy.
- Creativity – Develop color palettes and compositions aligned with the mindset and message of one’s art, design, writing, decor or photography.
- Therapy – Access and process memories, emotions, desires, fears and conflicts elicited by color choices.
- Organizational – Assess team dynamics and culture. Determine strengths, growth areas, and gaps to address.
Practitioners emphasize that the color brain test should be used ethically and responsibly as a tool for self-development and building understanding, not pigeonholing people.
Criticisms of the Color Brain Test
While popular, the color personality test has drawbacks:
- Results may be so general as to appear true for anyone (the Barnum effect).
- Archetypes can stereotype by only showing one side of a color or person.
- Test design lacks standardization and validation.
- Preferences are subjective, context-dependent and vary over time.
- Colors carry personal, cultural and situational associations.
- Factors like mood, health and environment impact color choices.
- Free online tests often provide superficial insights without interpretation.
To gain meaningful results, experts suggest:
- Using a well-researched assessment with nuanced profiles.
- Retaking periodically under consistent conditions.
- Considering the context and purpose of color choices.
- Combining with other self-knowledge tools.
- Seeking professional guidance to interpret.
- Avoiding major decisions based solely on color profiles.
Improving the Validity of Color Personality Tests
Researchers recommend enhancements to boost the rigor and utility of color personality assessments, including:
- Increasing standardization of color stimuli, instructions, rating scales and scoring systems.
- Establishing statistical reliability and validity through empirical tests.
- Linking color choices to real-world behaviors through observation.
- Studying cultural universality versus cultural relativity of color meanings.
- Considering context and purpose of color use.
- Combining color response testing with implicit measures and projective techniques.
- Using as a starting point for self-inquiry, not an endpoint.
With refinement, color preference testing may yet evolve into a robust tool for revealing aspects of personality, perception, and motivation inaccessible by other means. But further research is still required.
The color brain test offers a creative way to uncover hidden dimensions of personality based on color associations. By selecting hues spontaneously pleasing or displeasing, patterns emerge that may reflect deeper dynamics within the psyche. Though criticism exists, color psychology retains devoted practitioners and enthusiasts who believe in its potential. Approached with an open yet questioning mind, the color brain test can be a jumping off point for meaningful self-reflection and understanding of what makes people tick.