The idea that colors have certain mood-altering connotations (for example, that blue is calming or that black evokes power and wealth) is part of the basis of color psychology. People have attempted to use this to their advantage. In the early 2000s, for instance, cities in Scotland and Japan found that installing blue streetlights led to a decrease in street crime and suicide attempts in areas lit by the lamps [source]. Psychologists have also done experiments to find the most alluring color, and they’ve found that people are approached more often and viewed as more attractive when they’re wearing red, even if nothing else is different about them [source].
Our patron was able to borrow Adam Alter’s Drunk Tank Pink from our library. The book takes its title from a bubblegum color, also known as Baker-Miller pink, which was found in the 1970s to calm aggressiveness in prisoners. Not everyone believes in its efficacy - Drs. James E. Gilliam and David Unruh found in their 1988 study that Baker-Miller pink did not directly affect their subjects – but the color still found popularity. The football coaches at Colorado State and the University of Iowa even painted their visitors’ locker rooms pink in the hopes of weakening opposing teams.