The Sun Is no Fun without Rain: Physical Environments Affect How We Feel about Yellow across 55 Countries

Domicele Jonauskaite, Ahmed M. Abdel-Khalek, Ahmad Abu-Akel, Abdulrahman Saud Al-Rasheed, Jean-Philippe Antonietti, Árni Gunnar Ásgeirsson, Kokou Amenyona Atitsogbe, Marodégueba Barma, Daniel Barratt, Victoria Bogushevskaya, Maliha Khadidja Bouayed Meziane, Amer Chamseddine, Thammanard Charernboom, Eka Chkonia, Teofil Ciobanu, Violeta Corona, Allison Creed, Nele Dael, Hassan Daouk, Nevena DimitrovaCornelis B. Doorenbos, Sergejs Fomins, Eduardo Fonseca-Pedrero, Augusta Gaspar, Alena Gizdic, Yulia A. Griber, Gina M. Grimshaw, Aya Ahmed Hasan, Jelena Havelka, Marco Hirnstein, Bodil S. A. Karlsson, Stephen Katembu, Jejoong Kim, Nikos Konstantinou, Eric Laurent, Marjaana Lindeman, Banu Manav, Lynn Marquardt, Philip Mefoh, Aleksandra Mroczko-Wąsowicz, Phillip Mutandwa, Georgette Ngabolo, Daniel Oberfeld, Marietta Papadatou-Pastou, Corinna M. Perchtold, Alicia Pérez-Albéniz, Niloufar Pouyan, Tanjir Rashid Soron, Maya Roinishvili, Lyudmyla Romanyuk, Alejandro Salgado Montejo, Aygun Sultanova, Ramiro Tau, Mari Uuskülabe, Suvi Vainio, Veronica Vargas-Soto, Eliz Volkan, Grażyna Wąsowicz, Sunčica Zdravković, Meng Zhang, Christine Mohr

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Across cultures, people associate colours with emotions. Here, we test the hypothesis that one driver of this cross-modal correspondence is the physical environment we live in. We focus on a prime example – the association of yellow with joy, – which conceivably arises because yellow is reminiscent of life-sustaining sunshine and pleasant weather. If so, this association should be especially strong in countries where sunny weather is a rare occurrence. We analysed yellow-joy associations of 6625 participants from 55 countries to investigate how yellow-joy associations varied geographically, climatologically, and seasonally. We assessed the distance to the equator, sunshine, precipitation, and daytime hours. Consistent with our hypotheses, participants who live further away from the equator and in rainier countries are more likely to associate yellow with joy. We did not find associations with seasonal variations. Our findings support a role for the physical environment in shaping the affective meaning of colour.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101350
JournalJournal of Environmental Psychology
Volume66
Number of pages7
ISSN0272-4944
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

Published online: 19. September 2019

Keywords

  • Colour
  • Emotion
  • Affect
  • Cross-cultural
  • Environment
  • Climate

Cite this

Jonauskaite, D., Abdel-Khalek, A. M., Abu-Akel, A., Al-Rasheed, A. S., Antonietti, J-P., Ásgeirsson, Á. G., Atitsogbe, K. A., Barma, M., Barratt, D., Bogushevskaya, V., Meziane, M. K. B., Chamseddine, A., Charernboom, T., Chkonia, E., Ciobanu, T., Corona, V., Creed, A., Dael, N., Daouk, H., ... Mohr, C. (2019). The Sun Is no Fun without Rain: Physical Environments Affect How We Feel about Yellow across 55 Countries. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 66, [101350]. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvp.2019.101350