What does RED COLOR mean in PSYCHOLOGY

  • Nov 09, 2021
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What does the color red mean in psychology

It is said that red was the first of the colors to receive a name. This tonality is part of the so-called primary colors and we can find it in many elements that are found in our day to day, such as nature, clothing, advertising, etc. Throughout history, it has acquired different meanings and connotations. The color red has been a sign of power and nobility, anger, aggressiveness, love, passion and even, in some oriental cultures, happiness.

From the studies of color psychology, it has been shown that red captures our attention in a very remarkable way and greatly stimulates the sense of sight. In this Psychology-Online article, we will explain in detail what does the color red mean in psychology and how this meaning affects our day to day.

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  1. What is the psychology of colors
  2. Psychological meaning of the color red
  3. Meaning of the color red in advertising
  4. Spiritual meaning of the color red

What is the psychology of colors.

The psychology of color

It has gained remarkable significance since its utility was discovered in the world of sales, marketing, and communication. In addition, the importance of knowing how colors affect mood in order to complement many psychological therapies with color-oriented treatments (chromotherapy).

The psychology of colors is therefore defined as the field of study aimed at investigating the effect that the spectrum of tones and colors has on emotions, the decisions and the behavior of human beings. Although it is true, it is a sector that has a lot to investigate, but it is investing a lot in it so that, over time, it becomes an important field in scientific research and psychological. It is undeniable that colors affect the brain. Now we must find out how they do it, specifically, the color red.

What does the color red mean in psychology - What is the psychology of colors

Psychological meaning of the color red.

The psychological meaning of the color red is one of the broadest. It has many connotations and some of them vary by culture. For many, it is not just a mental effect, but a spiritual meaning. Next we will explain in detail the meaning of the color red in psychology.


Red is a very strident and visually striking color, it even has effects on our heart rate and usually produces a noticeable neural activation. For the same reason, the color red in psychology is usually related to passionate and energetic feelings, whether they are positive passions, such as love, or negative, such as go to. In this article, we tell you how to manage anger.


Since the beginning of history, the human being has observed this color sprout from inside his body and come out of the flames that devastated his lands. Therefore, one of the meanings of the color red in psychology is the danger or the sign that something alarming is happening. For that reason, our body activates the physiological stress reactions when we see that color. In addition, this psychological effect of the color red has been used for prohibition and alarm signals.


What does the color red represent? It produces excitement, activation and alarm, but it can also make us feel welcomed. The psychological influences of red are very numerous. In this case, we feel warm when the tone of this color is not too strident. In Western culture, it is also associated to love and sensuality. That is why certain red clothes tend to have sexual connotations.


It is curious to comment that in certain cultures red symbolizes joy. In China, for example, red is used as an adjective to define a business is prospering or a person who has good fortune. Thus, the color red in Eastern cultures means good luck and happiness. It is also said to connect with nature by being associated with the most earthly chakra.

Do you want to know what the psychologist thinks Eva Heller about the color red? You can consult a summary of her book in this article on the psychology of color according to Eva Heller.

Meaning of the color red in advertising.

Although it can be quite tiring for the eyes, the color red is used a lot in advertising to convey warmth, using low saturated shades of red, or dynamism by more strident reds. If we think about it, surely more than one brand that uses that color in its logo will come to mind. Red is also used to denote urgency and alarm. Many times they create the need to buy or use a product by using this color in their advertisements.

On a physical level, the color red increases our heart rate, increases appetite and evokes strong emotions. Therefore, in the marketing world they also use this color to attract compulsive shoppers. If you are interested in knowing more, we recommend this article about the psychology of color in marketing and advertising.

In addition, the meaning of the color red in advertising is also associated with trends socialist policies. This association is given by a tradition of these parties to use the same color, paying tribute to the struggle and the origin of socialism.

What does the color red mean in psychology - Meaning of the color red in advertising

Spiritual meaning of the color red.

Colors are also associated with various symbolism and spirituality. It is said that this association is due to the effect of the vibratory energy of the colors in our soul, however, there are not many confirmations of this.

In this case, the spiritual meaning of the color red is related to the healing rituals hundreds of years ago and with the representation of fire in our culture. Next, we will show you different examples of this:

  • For alchemists of the Middle Ages, the color red symbolized prosperity and it implied that his experiments were progressing well.
  • Centuries ago, doctors used red blankets and curtains to help heal measles sufferers. They believed that that way they would be cured sooner.
  • Emperors and great nobles dressed in red accessories to demonstrate your purchasing power. This was because the dye of that color was the most expensive to obtain.

For these reasons, under a more mystical interpretation, red is said to be a symbol of life, health, strength, attraction and power.

This article is merely informative, in Psychology-Online we do not have the power to make a diagnosis or recommend a treatment. We invite you to go to a psychologist to treat your particular case.

If you want to read more articles similar to What does the color red mean in psychology, we recommend that you enter our category of Emotions.


  • Brusatin, M. (1987). History of colors. Barcelona: Paidós Editions.
  • Graves, M. (1952). Color fundamentals. New York: McGraw-Hill Publishing House.
  • Heller, E. (2004). Psychology of color: How colors act on feelings and reason. Barcelona: Editorial Gustavo Gili.
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