The Two Colors That Researchers Say Will Make You More Creative, Smarter

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You might want to think twice before shelling out hundreds of dollars for your next course—scientists believe there’s an even simpler way to boost intelligence and creativity.

Researchers at the American Association for the Advancement of Science have found that just being exposed to two colors can help improve your memory and innovativeness.

In a study led by Professor Juliet Zhu, the team presented participants with various tasks that required them to be creative or attentive. The challenges were performed on computers with red or blue backgrounds.

As it turned out, surveyees working on computers with red backgrounds did better on tasks that required their attention, whereas those working on computers with blue backgrounds came up with double the amount of creative ideas.

Why these colors carry such specific functions isn’t clear, but the group has a theory.

“Thanks to stop signs, emergency vehicles and teachers’ red pens, we associate red with danger, mistakes and caution,” Professor Zhu deduced. The color therefore prompts the brain to pay more attention and act cautiously.

On the other spectrum, serene blue relaxes people and is associated with positive motivation.

“Because blue is usually associated with openness, peace, and tranquility, it is likely to activate an approach motivation, because these associations signal a benign environment that encourages people to use innovative—as opposed to ‘tried-and-true’—problem-solving strategies,” Zhu added.

The one takeaway from this study is: if you want to think more critically, try using a red wallpaper on your desktop or phone. If you’d like to brainstorm, a blue wallpaper might help.

[via Inc., cover image via Shutterstock]


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