Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology



First Advisor

Peter F. Merenda


A three-part investigation was conducted in an effort to begin to understand the psychological meaning of color preference behavior. Phase 1 used a Q-sort technique to assess intraindividual stability of preference judgments over a five-week interval. Phase 2 used principal components analysis to discern the manner in which preference judgments were being made. Phase 3 used canonical correlation analysis to evaluate a hypothesized relationship between color preference and personality; with five scales from the Personality Research Form, purported to measure manifest needs, serving as the criterion measure. Munsell standard papers, a standard light source, and a screening test for color vision dysfunction were among important control devices used. Results suggested that there were vast differences among the 90 subjects comprising the final sample group, with respect to stability of color preferences within persons. Sex differences in intraindividual stability were also apparent. A hue and lightness interaction appeared to underlie such judgments when saturation was kept constant. An unexpected breakdown in control pointed toward the possibly powerful effect of surface finish upon color preference. No relationship to manifest needs was found. It was concluded that the beginning steps had been taken toward psychometric development of a reliable instrument for the measurement of color preference behavior.



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