Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis


Behavioral Sciences

First Advisor

Oystein LaBianca


Does a person's perception of color symbolism depend on their cultural geographic origin? As color is often connected to different cultural elements, this study is intended as a contribution to advancing cross-cultural understanding in a globalizing world. The hypothesis states that the color perceived to be symbolic of various life events such as weddings, births, and deaths as well as emotions such s happiness or sadness, will vary based on a person's cultural geographic origin. Using eleven basic color terms as determined by Berlin and Kay (196), subjects' perceptions of color symbolism was explored through responses to an online survey shared with a global convenicence sample. The findins have shown a dependence on the construct to which color symbolism is being attributed. Data was found to both support and refute this hypothesis. In the constructs of contempt, disgust, happiness, birth and wealth, the hypothesis was supported while it was refuted through the data collected for anger, sadness, fear, surprise, death, weddings, divorce, poverty, work education.

Subject Area

Symbolism of colors$vCross-cultural studies., Color$vPsychological aspects.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.