Finnish and English children's color use to depict affectively characterized figures

Burkitt, Esther and Tala, Katri (2007). Finnish and English children's color use to depict affectively characterized figures. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 31(1) pp. 59–64.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0165025407073573

Abstract

Recent research has shown that children use colors systematically in relation to how they feel about certain colors and the figures that they draw. This study explored cultural differences between Finnish and English children's use of color to represent figures with contrasting emotional characters. One hundred and eight children (54 Finnish, 54 English) were divided into two age groups (5–7 years and 7–9 years). All children colored three emotionally characterized drawings and rated their affect towards the 10 colors provided and the three differentially characterized figures. It was found that Finnish and English children differed in their use of color for drawings of neutral and nasty figures. The findings are discussed in terms of the need to explore the role of culture in mediating children's use of color when drawing figures they feel negatively and positively towards.

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