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Still Waters

Red objects feel colder than blue ones

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It's as basic as water faucet handles: red means hot and blue means cold. That simple fact just got more complicated, according to a surprising study in the July 3 issue of Scientific Reports which shows that blue objects feel warmer to the touch than red ones of the same temperature.

http://www.scientifi...than-blue-ones/

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Posted (edited)

That's just darn fascinating! That would imply sensitivity to light wavelength. The "red-hot,blue cold" is experience of fire and ice, I think.

Edited by Kenemet

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Another glorious "study" by todays Scientists , so the Red Sea is actually cold while the Blue Mountains are hot , and the Moon being Yellow must be greasy like butter.

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What a disappointing article. I thought it was a research about how blue actually is hotter than red, then realized the entire article is about the subjective experience related to color warmth. If they asked someone (like a very young toddler or child) who does not have preconceived color representations, then there would be no difference in warmth at all.

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Posted (edited)

That's just darn fascinating! That would imply sensitivity to light wavelength. The "red-hot,blue cold" is experience of fire and ice, I think.

This is nothing to do with sensitivity to light wavelength. As I mentioned above, it's a very mundane and disappointing article about how the warmth of a color depends on our biased notions of the representations of color. Which means that if a culture traditionally thinks of (for example): yellow as hot and purple as cold, then purple would be subjectively hotter, even if they were objectively the same temperature, because you would expect yellow to be hotter, so it has a higher threshold which allows purple to feel hotter. You can say the same for any color.

Edited by Ashyne

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It is important research because it explains the disposition of the personality of Papa Smurf. (Well, actually all the Smurfs.)

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"Researchers asked a group of volunteers to enter a dark room and place their hand on a temperature controlled plate that would be lit up in either red or blue."

This is that part that got me fascinated because I would expect that since Blue is the wavelength reflected then red would be absorbed, giving the feeling of warmth...but since it was dark and the light was emitted, one has to wonder about the test and its results...

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"Researchers asked a group of volunteers to enter a dark room and place their hand on a temperature controlled plate that would be lit up in either red or blue."

This is that part that got me fascinated because I would expect that since Blue is the wavelength reflected then red would be absorbed, giving the feeling of warmth...but since it was dark and the light was emitted, one has to wonder about the test and its results...

Most people here are confused about the article, but I already stated above, this research is not about which color is objectively warmer, it is about perception of the warmth of color.

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It seems pretty clear to me - they are testing expectation. They are testing to see if what is 'sensory perceived' under an "expectation", is accurate and close to reality or not. The test suggests that there is a mismatch between the sensory perception experienced for colour, when a expectation is used to trigger the sensory perception.

This kind of study would have implications especially for the marketing and media world.

This part here-

When it comes to touch, what we feel might be strongly influenced by our expectations. “When you look at a red object you expect it to be warm. You have something already in your mind,” Ho says. “The contrast between the expectation and actual temperature perception will influence what you feel.” Since our minds anticipate a warm red object, it takes a higher temperature for us to believe that the object is unusually hot.

To confirm their hunch about expectation, Ho’s team conducted a second experiment. Instead of coloring the heated surface, they projected red or blue light onto participant’s hands. This time, red hands made surfaces feel warm at lower temperatures than blue hands. The reason, says Ho, is that our brain expects a red hand to already be warm, so when we touch a slightly hot object we interpret it as being warmer than it is.

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But anything showing up as a heat source is red, while blue means cold, and my oven switched on with hot rings shows red, not blue. Blue in a flame is the coolest part.

Red and blue is to do with nature and how colours feel. Mental perception is based on the human senses.

Yellow belongs to the red family and is also the colour of the sun.

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Well, the argument depends on the application.

A bunsen flame (with the collar air hole open), for example, will produce the hottest part close to the centre, just above the inner blue cone.

Same thing with stars. Blue stars emit photons in the blue part of the spectrum. Blue photons have more energy than red photons. This means blue stars are generating more energy than red stars. Therefore, blue stars are hotter.

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Most people here are confused about the article, but I already stated above, this research is not about which color is objectively warmer, it is about perception of the warmth of color.

perception is reality

it's odd and nominally normal simultaneously

fun

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Red-colored surfaces needed to be about 0.5 degrees C hotter than blue ones before they felt at all warm to the touch.

makes sense

because your mind has the expectation of warmth, red needs to feel warmer to get your attention

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And I thought red is warmer because it reflects light while blue is a slightly dark that it absorb more light...

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Maybe to illustrate the point think of the scenario of lifting something that you expect to be a lot heavier than it actually is. You may perceive the same weight to be heavier when you don't expect it to be light.

I think the key here is expectation adjusting perception and when the reality is off it skews the true nature of the object.

There are certainly many more examples of expectation adjusting perceivable reality

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