Articles on Colors

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Female members of Congress wore white in a nod to suffragists during the State of the Union. AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

How white became the color of suffrage

Being the media-savvy women that they were, suffragists realized they needed to come up with a meaningful, recognizable brand.
Researchers studied whether subtly being exposed to different colors could change tipping behavior. Anutr Yossundara/Shutterstock.com

Want better tips? Go for gold

Studies show a weak relationship between tip amounts and quality of service. But the color gold seems to have a way of making diners feel wealthier – and more generous.
Some believe the color pink can calm unruly inmates. Others say it’s a form of humiliation. Mohd KhairilX/Shutterstock.com

Can pink really pacify?

Famously feminized by the Nazis – and later used in prison cells to limit aggression in inmates – the color pink toes a shaky line between social psychology and gender stereotyping.
Zebrafish are known for their black and gold stripes. NICHD/flickr

How the zebrafish got its stripes

Zebrafish are known for their black and gold stripes, but researchers are still figuring out how pigment cells interact to form these patterns.
Everyone sees them all, but we don’t all give them the same distinct names. lazyllama/Shutterstock.com

Languages don’t all have the same number of terms for colors – scientists have a new theory why

People across the globe all see millions of distinct colors. But the terms we use to describe them vary across cultures. New cognitive science research suggests it's about what we want to communicate.

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