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What is the purpose of the Luscher color test?


The Luscher color test is a psychological test invented by Swiss psychologist Dr. Max Luscher in the 1940s. It is based on the idea that color preferences reveal aspects of a person’s personality. The purpose of the Luscher color test is to identify deep psychological stress, motivations, and conflicts within an individual.

How does the Luscher color test work?

The Luscher color test consists of 8 different colored cards that are shown to the participant. The colors are dark blue, blue, green, red, yellow, purple, brown, and black. The participant is asked to arrange the cards in order of preference, from most preferred to least preferred.

After the participant has arranged the cards, the psychologist analyzes the results using the Luscher color meaning guide. Each color has a psychological significance and the order of preference reveals information about the participant’s current psychological state. For example, choosing blue as the favorite color suggests a desire for tranquility and affection. Choosing brown or black last may suggest depression or anxiety.

What are the stages of the Luscher color test?

The Luscher color test is conducted in two stages:

Stage 1:

The 8 colored cards are shown to the participant who then ranks them from 1 (most preferred) to 8 (least preferred). This provides the psychologist with the participant’s conscious color preferences.

Stage 2:

The cards are then shown again and the participant is asked to choose the color they feel an “unconscious need” for. This provides additional insight into the less conscious aspects of the participant’s psyche.

The results from both stages are then analyzed together to give a comprehensive picture of the emotional and motivational states of the individual.

What are the main color meanings in the Luscher test?

Color Psychological Meaning
Dark blue Desire for tranquility, satisfaction, affection
Blue Calmness, contentment, relaxation
Green Self-affirmation, ambition, growth
Red Vitality, intensity, sexuality
Yellow Cheerfulness, optimism, clarity
Purple Creativity, spirituality, purpose
Brown Orderliness, convention, materialism
Black Lack of direction, anxiety, depression

What are the benefits of the Luscher color test?

Some key benefits of the Luscher color test include:

– Provides insight into unconscious emotions and motivations
– Non-verbal, so avoids issues with language or expression
– Simple and quick to administer and interpret
– Holistic way to assess psychological state
– Useful for therapy, counseling, coaching
– Can track changes over time with repeated testing

What are the limitations of the Luscher color test?

Some limitations of the Luscher color test:

– Subjective nature makes it difficult to scientifically validate
– Lacks standardization and norms for interpretation
– Individual differences in color perception may affect results
– Cultural differences in color meanings not fully accounted for
– Participant can deliberately manipulate results if not open
– Difficult to draw causal conclusions from results

How accurate is the Luscher color test?

The accuracy and validity of the Luscher color test has been debated. A few key points:

– No large scale scientific studies have conclusively validated the concepts behind it.
– Some smaller studies show reasonable correlations between Luscher test results and other measures of personality and emotion.
– Critics argue there is a lack of empirically supported evidence regarding the meaning of color preferences.
– Supporters claim it has good face validity based on decades of clinical experience.
– Overall the accuracy is uncertain but it can provide personal insights along with other assessments.

What is the status of the Luscher color test today?

Despite uncertainties over its scientific validity, the Luscher color test remains in use today for a few key reasons:

– Provides a projective technique that can stimulate meaningful insights.
– Subjective so allows individuals to interpret their own results.
– Simple to administer with no special equipment needed.
– Focuses on positive growth rather than diagnosing pathology.
– Widely referenced in counseling textbooks and training programs.
– Online versions make it more accessible to the general public.

While not a standalone assessment tool, it continues to have value for self-discovery and personal development when used appropriately by skilled psychologists.


The Luscher color test is a psychological test that uses color preferences to provide insight into someone’s emotional state, unconscious needs, motivations, and sources of stress or conflict. Developed by Max Luscher, it is based on the idea that color choice provides information about aspects of personality. While debate exists over its accuracy and validity, it remains in use today as a way to quickly gather subjective psychological insights that can supplement other assessments and techniques. When applied ethically and interpreted cautiously by a qualified professional, it can be a useful projective tool for counseling, coaching and self-discovery.