The Lüscher Color Test.
Does this deep psychological test really reveal your personality through color?
You might have seen the online Personality Color Test but do you know who invented it?
Max Lüscher was born in Switzerland in 1923. He studied psychiatry and received a doctorate in psychology, philosophy, and the psychology of law. His thesis “Color as an aid in psychological diagnosis” earned him a mention of the highest honor, and in 1947 he created his first color test.
This test was used to determine the ‘current’ emotional state of the the person taking it, using color cards. The cards were presented to them and they had to choose by order of preference.
A preference for one color or another is often dictated by circumstances. Having to match an outfit, or the decor for a room for example. Will the carpet go with the curtains? Will the paintings clash with the furniture? In marketing colors play a very significant roll. Ads on the TV for fast, sporty type cars, often show a red car, speeding down a country lane. Family cars are normally presented in more neutral colors like grey/black or grey/blue.
The interior of an airplane will have calming colors, blue often being the favorite choice, for example. Red might not go down too well.
The color red increases blood pressure as it stimulates the central nervous system and the last thing you want is people feeling agitated on a flight.
Blue has the opposite effect — blood pressure lowers and the heart-rate and breathing slows down. Dark blue has a calming effect. This reaction operates mainly through the parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system.
When taking the test, however, the color should be chosen for preference alone.
Max Lüscher knew that colors could affect our mood, and his work contributed greatly to the world of advertising, but what he was really interested in was if a preference for a determined color could indicate the personality traits of the person choosing it.
The 8 colors of the test, which are numbered 1–10, are a special hue. The red has an orange tone making it warm and appealing, the yellow is bright like ‘sunshine’, these are the brightest colors of the test. The blue is a warm deep blue like the ocean or a starlit sky. The green is a bluish green. The brown has a reddish tone and the other colors are fairly normal. These tones were carefully chosen and cannot always be well represented on a computer monitor, and some tones will vary depending what device is being used.
I have the first edition of the book complete with original color cards.
In the front of the book there is a warning.
The Lüscher Color Test, despite the ease and speed with which it can be administered, is a “deep” psychological test, developed for the use of psychiatrists, psychologists, physicians and those who are professionally involved with the conscious and unconscious characteristics and motivations of others. It is Not a parlor game and most emphatically it is not a weapon to be used in a general contest of “one-upmanship.”
The cards are to be chosen very quickly, without really thinking about them. Twice.
The second reading being the best.
The test can reveal both good and bad traits in your personality and may reveal a “problem”, that needs to be addressed.
I administered the test on myself and the result was interesting. It revealed that I was very disappointed (that was an understatement), and that my thoughts of formulating fresh goals were pretty much non existent. (this was round about that time I had willed myself to die — another publication you can read here).
If you want to do the test you can click here. I suggest you do it now before you read on.
Okay, so in my case I had rejected the color yellow.
Strange how I would reject a warm color. By rejecting one color we substitute it for another. My substitute was blue. So, according to the test, my idea of resolving my problem was to withdraw into a calm environment.
It was actually ‘spot on’. I had been quarreling a lot with my boyfriend and was having doubts about our relationship, so I had thrown myself into quietly doing my artwork.
I thought that I would just randomly chose the colors again, to see what happened, but damn! It was bizarre, the result was almost the same!
“Okay then, so everybody gets the same result!”
Well no. The test works on the choice of color ‘pairs’. (not the fruit…but groups of two colors — just in case you got mixed up). Subconsciously we chose the colors pairs and those dictate the result, depending on where they fall in the choice; first, second third and last (as a rejection or not).
A permanent trait will always show up somewhere in the choice.
Basic colors should be preferred.
Blue, green, red and yellow represent basic fundamental psychological needs such as contentment, affection, self assertion, action and ability to pull through and get on.
The auxiliary colors, violet, brown, black and grey are a different case. Grey and black are not really colors at all, they are achromatic. Violet is a mixture of blue and red and brown is a mixture of orange-red, and black and is also classed a achromatic (although it is not strictly the case). Preference for any of these three may be taken as a negative attitude towards life. This however depends on other factors around the test, such as age, sex etc. (teenagers tend to choose black or purple first — that is quite normal. Not so much for a 40 year old though, this is why the online test is not that reliable).
One year I got a stand at a Light Festival and did the test on a few people, they were amazed. One young lady’s choice revealed that she was in an abusive relationship and was suffering greatly because of it, among other things. She sat with her mouth open when I told her. (The difference when a person tells the result is they can sugarcoat it). This girl needed professional help and I told her nicely. She nearly cried and told me that she had just started seeing a therapist and was leaving her boyfriend.
And she did! Now she is a poetess and gets to travel all around reciting her poetry! She looks bolder and stronger.
Another young girl hadn’t ‘come out’ to her parents yet. The results of the test showed that she was clearly wanting to. Her preference for purple, is often seen in pregnant women, people who tend to fantasize or those that are attracted to the same sex.
It was ‘research’.
I also did it on a few friends. The results were fascinating.
According to the results, most people seemed to long for a sense of belonging and find meaning in their life. They felt that life has more to offer and that they wanted their fair share — However, their behavior towards this was not always appropriate.
It basically showed me that all our needs are similar. We want to belong, we want to fit in or feel needed. We want to be admired for who we are and we want to bridge the gap that separate us from others. We want to believe that our goals are obtainable and we really want to live our lives to the full.
How we do that, depends on us.