Red color in psychology: meaning, influence on humans

Greetings, friends!

The influence of colors and shades on a person’s mood is a well-known psychological phenomenon. An excess of certain colors in the environment can excite or calm, invigorate or help to relax, make you feel positive or make you sad. One of the most powerful colors on our psyche is red.

In this regard, it is very ambiguous, since it can cause both positive and negative emotional reactions. We associate it with beauty and love, and it also symbolizes danger. Let's figure out why this happens. We will look at the meaning of the color red from a psychological point of view, find out why it has such meaning for us and why it can cause such ambiguous emotions.

Symbolism of red

The symbolism of colors developed among peoples in ancient times and has survived to this day. The color red has received increased attention in all corners of the world, and many similarities can be found in the interpretations.

First of all, red color means the color of blood, life, flame. Moreover, in many languages, including Old Russian, “red” means “beautiful” - this is the meaning inherent in the phrases “red maiden”, “red sun” and in the name of the main square of the Russian capital. In Polynesian tribes, the words "red" and "beloved" are synonymous. The Chinese call sincere, open-hearted people “red heart”, as opposed to an insidious, dishonest person whose heart is black.

Color perception disorder

About 8% of men and only 0.5% of women suffer from color blindness. What is color blindness associated with? There are three types of cones in our eyes: L-cones are responsible for recognizing long (red) waves, M-cones recognize medium (green) waves, and S-cones recognize short (blue) waves. L- and M-cone defects are called red-green color blindness. S-cone defects are extremely rare. If a person has impaired perception of red color, then for him such light will look like green.

Significance in psychology

A person cannot distinguish colors for several weeks after birth. And he begins to distinguish red from the rest first. A significant influence of this color on people of all ages has been noticed.

For men

The energy of red color is inherent in men with a strong character, persistent and persistent. The same color is preferred by people prone to cruelty and violence.

Read also: Green color in psychology

The sensuality and sexuality of red is noted, and this is successfully exploited when creating female images that are attractive to men. Statistics show that girls in red clothes are given more attention by members of the opposite sex than others. At the same time, the influence of color occurs on a subconscious level; men themselves deny that the color of clothing played a role in their choice.

For women

Red clothes, regardless of fashion trends, are chosen by women who are confident in themselves and their attractiveness. This is the color of strong, free individuals who know how to protect personal boundaries, realize their ideas and achieve their goals.

Rich shades of red are actively used in the wardrobe by passionate people who value the joys of life. Dark, deep tones are preferred by experienced ladies, including authoritarian ones. Pink colors are for dreamy girls.

Read also: Orange color in psychology

For children

Bright, pure red is one of the children's favorite colors. This is the color of celebration and joy. The preference for the color red indicates the child’s activity, vital energy, and openness to the world.

At the same time, such children show character from an early age - they are stubborn, do not like to obey rules, and have a strong desire to destroy and dominate their peers. Parents have to overcome many difficulties in the process of raising children.

Impact on the psyche

Purple color in human psychology - what does it mean who likes it?

Psychologists, using color therapy techniques, often turn to this color. What does red mean in psychology? It is a spectrum that has an exciting effect on people. Any shade (from the weakest to the most intense) has a strong influence on the subconscious, which means on the mood.

The ability of red from a psychological point of view:

  1. Strengthens the active abilities of people. There is a powerful surge of strength. The tone from this therapy will be short-lived, followed by a feeling of fatigue. In order for the effect of therapy to be long-lasting, you should pay attention to the spectrum of calmer, but warmer shades.
  2. Causes irritation. Sometimes mental irritation allows people to decide on actions that they cannot begin in a calm state. Excessive use of this method can subsequently cause an uncontrollable state of anger.
  3. Causes a state of alarm. In the subconscious of most people, red evokes fear, associations with blood or fire; more flexible people may even experience panic attacks.

Red color and its shades

The color red has many shades, and each of them has its own personality. The skillful use of shades of red in clothing and everyday life helps to adjust the overall mood and well-being. It is important to know what properties these colors have in order to avoid negative influences and use positive qualities to your advantage.


A bright, pure shade of red is a symbol of life and warmth. Scarlet color is concentrated energy, activity, sensuality, emotionality. In folklore and literature, it is associated with the color of lips, flame, and blood. This color cannot go unnoticed, which is why it was chosen for both the outlandish overseas flower from a fairy tale and the sails of a dream come true.

Read also: Blue color in psychology


The color crimson combines passion and self-sacrifice with impulsiveness and unpredictability. People who prefer the color of ripe raspberries are active and selfless, striving for development and self-improvement, and creativity. But at the same time, the crimson hue is associated with nervousness, excitement, and vulnerability. This is the color of teenagers and dreamers.

Fire red

The red color with an orange tint represents ardor, the desire to overcome obstacles, and achieve your goals. In psychology, this is the color of people with iron willpower. It stimulates performance if used within reasonable limits.

You should not actively use fiery red in clothing or interior design - excessive zeal results in emotional burnout and nervous exhaustion


Pink is the color of youth, tenderness, romance, and falling in love. It sets you up for positivity and helps overcome the blues, and therefore is considered an effective antidepressant. Lovers of pink have an easy-going character; they are often vulnerable and touchy, but at the same time easy-going. This color symbolizes a period of renewal, the arrival of spring and new feelings.


Burgundy is a combination of red with shades of brown that balance the fiery element and give confidence. This is the color of sedate people, prone to conservatism, relying on their strength and experience, and not on emotions. Burgundy is preferred by people who want to attract attention and emphasize individuality, who know how to defend their views.

Read also: Yellow color in psychology

Dark red

The color emphasizes self-esteem; shades of dark red are preferred by people who tend to have a condescending attitude towards others. A negative manifestation is the transition of condescension into cynicism, cruelty towards others, inertia and inertia.


The red tone in the dark burgundy color is responsible for willpower and assertiveness, the ability to move forward. The brown tint gives a tendency to deep thought. An excess of dark burgundy color can cause a feeling of oppression and depression.

Historical information

  1. Scientists noted that ancient people used this red color when making rock carvings.
  2. African tribes covered their bodies with red paint before performing certain rituals. They were convinced of its magical properties. In this regard, the leader of the tribe dressed in outfits in shades of red.
  3. During the period of antiquity, a parallel was drawn between the red color and Mars. It was considered as a manifestation of strength, masculinity, and belligerence.
  4. In Western Europe it was recognized as a symbol of power.
  5. In ancient Egypt it was defined as a sacred color. It was believed that only the empress had the right to wear shoes of this color.
  6. In antiquity, red was associated with love.
  7. In ancient times, the Slavs wore red dresses for brides.
  8. If we consider Christian culture, then this color is identified with the (sacred) sacrifice, the blood of Christ.
  9. In European heraldry it is defined as a symbol of power and strength.

Red lovers

A favorite color can tell a lot about character traits when drawing up a psychological portrait of a person. It is important to pay attention to the shades that a person prefers. The color red can express a wide range of feelings. Warm tones are romantic, passion and rebellion, cold and dark shades are maturity, authority, power.

Positive traits:

Willpower and self-confidence. Such people know how to overcome life's difficulties without losing their presence of mind. They are much better at this than others.

Purposefulness, leadership. Fans of red color know how to achieve their goals and lead others.

Energy, endurance. Bright shades of red are preferred by people full of vitality. They generously share their energy with others, charging them with vigor.

Sexual activity. Lovers of red tend to desire an active and varied sex life. In extreme manifestations, this turns into promiscuity and promiscuity.

Reverse side of the coin:

Stubbornness. The desire to achieve a goal often develops into a desire to insist on one’s own in any way.

Intolerance to other people's points of view, unwillingness to compromise. Fans of red tend to defend their opinion even to the detriment of the result.

Aggressiveness. The desire to insist on one’s own, regardless of means, leads to verbal, psychological, and physical violence.

Cruelty. Red color is a symbol of authoritarianism and strength. People of a certain type realize their inclinations through cruel treatment of the weaker and dependent.

Fans of red are avid debaters, and their confidence can easily develop into overconfidence. At the same time, these are charismatic leaders capable of implementing large-scale projects. Both men and women of this type are attractive to the opposite sex. Red color is chosen by sensual people.

What kind of people like

Preferred by energetic, cheerful people

  1. In psychology, they are personified with leadership inclinations and a desire to rule.
  2. Such persons can be selfish in nature, stubborn and cruel.
  3. Red can also indicate a love of adventure and new discoveries.
  4. A lover of this color will not sit in one place, will always be on the move, and will have an optimistic outlook on life.
  5. Sociability, unusual behavior, willpower and determination; there are no obstacles in a person’s path, no difficulties frighten him.
  6. Irritability and short temper. A person easily loses his temper, but calms down quite quickly.
  7. Authority. He does not tolerate being controlled and tries to keep everything under control. In a career, this contributes to success; in personal life, it gives rise to problems, especially if the individual is paired with an equally competitive and powerful person.
  8. Energetic people who strive to be active.
  9. In a woman’s psychology, preference for this color indicates a desire to become a hunter, to show her activity in sexual relations, and to dominate a man. Girls who love red outfits are impulsive individuals who can also be aggressive.

If a person hates this color:

  • he is an insecure person;
  • prefer to be alone with themselves, do not like to be paid attention to;
  • Such an individual is frightened by conflicts and quarrels, which is why he often ignores his needs.

If a particular person used to really like the color red, but now doesn’t, this indicates that there is moral or physical exhaustion. For example, such a manifestation may occur in people who have experienced violence.

Use in clothing

Red clothing is chosen by people who want to attract attention and who are not afraid of criticism and judgmental looks. In turn, red color adds self-confidence. This can be used in preparation for a crucial moment, if there is a need to overcome anxiety.

The color red in business clothing is used sparingly; we are mainly talking about accessories and discreet shades. Various tones of red are appropriate in outfits for informal settings, friendly parties, going to a restaurant or theater. Such clothing emphasizes sexuality, and we are talking about both women and men. A bright outfit is directly related to liberation, so when choosing clothes for a first date or an important event, you need to think about how appropriate such an image will be and which shade to choose.

Please note: an excess of red in the image can result in fatigue, irritability or aggression

Red clothing is a great choice for sports. It will add energy, determination, and desire to achieve results. The attention of others in the gym or while jogging on the street encourages you to give your best.

You should not use red-colored wardrobe items if you experience a loss of strength, depression, or high blood pressure. The color red can aggravate stress and prevents you from developing a trusting attitude when communicating with others. The exception is delicate shades of pink, which improve mood and give optimism.

Red color in the interior

Red is a warm color with powerful energy. It is used quite limitedly in the interior, as it has an exciting effect on the psyche. In addition, dark and bright colors visually make the room smaller. The wrong choice of shade can make the interior difficult to perceive and oppressive.

In interior design, each shade of red has a specific area of ​​application:

Rich red Suitable for creating accents in interiors in loft, hi-tech, and minimalist styles. You can paint part of the wall or shelving in this color, use textiles and decorative elements.

Burgundy can become one of the main interior colors in combination with neutral colors - gray, white, beige. Suitable for decorating a living room or kitchen. Can be used in Baroque style, in interpretations of historical interiors.

Crimson Suitable for interiors in a classical or historical style, baroque. Combines with gilding, golden fringe and ornaments.

Red color attracts attention and therefore requires a neutral environment. When creating an interior using red, it is important to maintain color balance

Pink This is the color for decorating a nursery, can be used in the kitchen or bedroom in country or Provence style in combination with white, gray, light wood.

Scarlet, fiery red Bright colors are used to create color accents when creating interiors in a modern style. You can paint the inside of the shelves, use textile elements, lamps and other interior items in the bedroom or living room.

Red-brown, terracotta Ideal for loft style. This color can become the main color in the interior of a bedroom or living room.

Scarlet color for color types

This shade of red is suitable for representatives of the “spring” and “winter” color types. “Spring” looks great in scarlet, with bright makeup and the absence of red spots on the face, which are highlighted by the scarlet color of clothing and become more noticeable and ugly.

Scarlet makes you look fat, exposing any disproportionate parts of the body. But if your figure and face are in order, then he will make you a queen.

I would also like to note: “winter” is a rare color type, characterized by high contrast. However, often even professional image makers mistake the contrasting “summer” for “winter”. The first suits many shades of red, but not scarlet; it makes them corpse-pale, which gives a dubious impression.

Combination with other colors

When thinking through the design of a room or combining wardrobe items, it is necessary to take into account the compatibility of red with other colors - achromatic (neutral) and chromatic.

Achromatic colors include white and black. Scarlet with pure white is a bright and harmonious pair that can be used both in clothing and in the interior.

Red and black are the quintessence of luxury and sexuality. An excellent option for a stylish evening outfit, but for decorating a room it is too radical an option - it is better to replace black with gray in various shades. In clothing, gray also successfully balances the aggression of red.

The list of chromatic colors that red goes well with includes sand color and shades close to it. Some tones of red can be successfully combined with shades of green, blue, and pink that are suitable in temperature and saturation.

Health effects

Red color appeals to extroverts and depresses introverts. It is considered a source of vitality. It adds energy to healthy and active people, can ignite passion, and give joyful emotions. For people who are tired or in a depressed mood, the color red is annoying and can cause aggression.

Red color therapy is used to treat depressed mental states. It also helps increase brain activity. Oversaturation with red color has a negative effect on the psyche - a person becomes overexcited, mental disorders, if any, worsen.

Color therapy for the treatment of physiological ailments began to be used several centuries ago. Today, exposure to red color is used as part of an integrated approach to the treatment of certain types of inflammation, skin diseases, measles, chicken pox, and scarlet fever.

Read also: Interesting facts about color

Red color stimulates metabolism and cell regeneration, increases the rate of formation of leukocytes. Also, color therapy using red rays helps relieve people from drug and alcohol addiction.

Red color stimulates appetite and regulates digestion. This is used to treat dystrophy and childhood anemia. It acts as a pain reliever for the nervous system and helps to concentrate - for this reason, before competitions, athletes are recommended to wear glasses with red lenses.

With the help of red color, hypertension and neurasthenia are treated, while the beneficial effect on the nervous system is expressed in the fact that pain in the spine goes away, pain and dizziness stop.

The color of life helps in the treatment of apathy in children - their appetite improves, the number of red blood cells in the blood increases, children become more energetic, move more and develop better.

* * *

Red is the personification of physical life; it is no coincidence that the chakra responsible for survival is painted in this color. This is the color of winners and those who die but do not give up. Lovers of red are passionate in love and in business, they live on the edge of emotion. This helps achieve global goals and at the same time threatens emotional burnout.

It is important for a modern person to be able to control the element of red and use it for the benefit of himself and those around him. After all, it is an inexhaustible source of energy and vitality.

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