Saturday, 5 December 2009

Assignment 4 - Part two

500 Words on Faber Birren's "Color and Human Response".

Another text of Faber Birren's that I choose to research is his “Color and Human Response”. In this book he explores the biological, visual, emotional, aesthetic, and psychic responses to colour, supporting them with historical references and scientific research. For this text, I will look into the emotional responses and the biological response.

Birren takes into account that “the studies presented and the results described are frankly subject to question and can be disrupted.” (Pg 43). By this he realises that although a fact is a fact, it may differ from person to person, making these “facts” subjective. He states that “the word “fact” is forever a troublesome one in relation to anything emotional.” If we understand this, then we can better understand the research he explores, and remember that it is not true to everyone.

As in “Color Psychology and Color Therapy: A Factual Study of the Influence of Color on Human Life”, Birren again follows the research of the physician Felix Deutsch. “His findings throw important light not only on medical practice with references to colour but on the whole psychology of colour.” (Pg 46). Birren looks at Deutsch's research into a number of cases and the results following exposure to coloured interiors. He studied and measured patients blood pressure and concluded that “colour brings about a reflex action upon the vascular system, if only through feelings and emotions... The emotional excitements which are recognized through changes in blood pressure, pulse-frequency and rhythm, are brought forth through association.” The exposure to red and other warm colours has been proven to increase blood pressure, respiration and pulse and attention is directed outwards towards the environment, whereas Birren states that green and blue tend to have more of a relaxing effect on people, physically and mentally. When exposed to green and blue, people are more able to concentrate and are less distracted by the environment surrounding them.

This text focuses more on the uses of colour in medicine and understanding that each persons reaction to a colour is different. In “Color Psychology and Color Therapy” he is more interested in theories and the effects of colour on the mentally troubled.

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