The effects of colour and valence on news evaluation

Kai Kaspar, Melanie Grümmer, Antje Kießler, Celina Neuß, Franziska Schröter
Published Online:
13 Nov 2015
Volume/Issue No:
Volume 52 Issue 6

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Research across different fields of psychology has reported effects of colour cues on a variety of cognitive processes. Especially, the colour red has been shown to have striking influences. In the context of media reception, however, colour effects have been widely neglected so far. This study made a first step in this direction by investigating the effects of the colour red (compared with blue and grey) on the way news articles are evaluated. Two types of news were framed by a coloured border while the valence of the news content additionally varied. Based on 369 participants who read and evaluated the news articles online, we observed effects for colour cues and news valence in the absence of an interaction effect, indicating that the colour red induced approach motivation. However, only the contrast between red and grey reached statistical significance, indicating that chromatic and achromatic colours may differ in their perceived visual saliency. Overall, these results provide an important complement to previous studies and have practical implications for media researchers and producers.

© 2015 International Union of Psychological Science