Sadness may actually change how we perceive color, suggests a new study. Researchers found that participants who were induced to feel sad were less accurate in identifying colors on the blue-yellow axis than those who were led to feel amused or emotionally neutral.
First author Christopher Thorstenson of the University of Rochester said that the results show that mood and emotion can affect how people see the world around them, adding that their work advances the study of perception by showing that sadness specifically impairs basic visual processes that are involved in perceiving color.
The findings suggest that sadness is specifically responsible for the differences in color perception. Thorstenson points out that this research charts new territory, and that follow-up studies are essential to fully understanding the relationship between emotion and color perception: The research is published in Psychological Science
, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.