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  • Subject area(s): Marketing
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  • Published on: 14th September 2019
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Colours are the property that possessed by object of producing different sensation on the eye as the result of the way the object reflects or emits the light. There are too much of different colours and names. For instance, green colour has variety type of green such as mint green, moss green, emerald green and pickle green. It is because colours are affected by how it reflects to the light. Thus, it has different shades of colours which is from light to dark colour. Apart from that, memory defines as the faculty by which the mind stores and remembers information. Memory is used to recall anything that already past such as summarizing the topic of the study and past experiences.

Nowadays, people are practicing to use colours in their notes as the way to study. Most of the schools also encourage their students to use this method for effective way of study. It is usually done by transferring the points to mind map with different colours of each point. Also, some people use colours to find someone. For example, when they lost their mother, they probably find the mother by searching the colour of clothes that the mother was wearing. Thus, colour is important for people in daily life.

This research helps people to understand better about the useful of the colours. It is also help students to understand the reasons of using colours in making notes. More than that, this research helps people especially students, children and employees to memorize topic in learning, recognize people and think in creative ways. As most people feel difficult to memorize things, this research can help people to improve the way of memorization with creative and easiest way.

However, it has limitation of this research. This is due to time limit that need to be done in a short period. Thus, this research could not be accurate as the research depends on others' research and experiment. It is also having limitation as a student to study about the research topic within a short time and limited ways to get an accurate result of the research. Although the use of colours can boost memory, it is also can decrease human memory level.

The hypothesis of this research is colour can boost memory.

Three research questions are:

1) Which colour can boost memory the most?

2) How does colour boost human memory?

3) How does colour be used in learning for students?


Literature Review

In the modern era, colour is used widely in industry. It is commonly used in marketing. According to (Morton, 2016) 'Colour is a visual component that people remember the most about the brand followed by shapes or symbol of the company.' This shows that colour is one of the most effective way of persuasion in marketing and advertising. It is also used as a colour branding such as Mc Donald and Google. Colour is good for marketing and most of the company are using various of colour to attract people to be their customer. Furthermore, certain colour is used in traffic such as red to stop, yellow to be ready and green to start moving. Therefore, colour is important and beneficial to the daily life. There are a lot of researches that have been done to determine the effect of colour to the memory performance. Thus, this research would be discussing about how colours can be relate to the human memory.

Properties of colours

There are three categories of colours which are primary, secondary and tertiary. 'Primary colour is the one that could not be created by mixing with other colours. These colours are red, blue and yellow.' (Sevinc Kurt, 2014). 'Secondary colour is the colour that can be created by mixing with two primary colours while tertiary colour can be created by primary and secondary colours.' (Sevinc Kurt, 2014). Red is a strong colour and being longest wavelength colour. It is also known as aggressive, powerful and excitement effects on people. Yellow refers to joyful, active and friendly. This colour is the strongest colour that can stimulate the happy mood in people. Moreover, green is known as an emotionally calming colour, which gives refreshment to people as green refers to environment and nature. Most people will look for green scenery to get fresh air and release their stress. However, it can be too plain and weary if it is used incorrect way. Blue is colour that refers to intellectual. It gives logical thought, reasons and encourage intellect activities. It is also referring to nature, blue sky which is calming and encourage clear thought to people. According to (Mariam Adawiah Dzulkifli and Muhammad Faiz Mustafar, 2013), it says that 'colours such as yellow, red and orange have been found to be a greater effect on attention compared to the cool type of colours such as brown and grey.' This shows that colours have their own strengths and uses in certain things. This research is effective and reliable as the colour gives impact to people through the way the people perceive the colours. Moreover, this research has significant explanation that can be relied on. It is also having an accurate information as there has a number of sources that has similar result and information given.

The impact of colours to the brain

According to (Price et al. 1982, p. 76), 'the perception of colour depends on the wavelength of light.' Thus, Brynie (2009) concluded that 'Gegenfurtner has shown that colour significantly improves the speed at which images can be recognized and it improves the memory of the images.' This is due to small red spots that received by the eyes which is the most easily detected. Also, colour plays a role of engaging the attention level on people and helps in memorizing things or information. 'It is stated that there would be more chances of stimuli to transferred to the permanent memory storage if the attention level is higher on the stimuli.' (Mariam Adawiah Dzulkifli and Muhammad Faiz Mustafar 2013). Moreover, the colour is sensed, received and coded into the eyes and the brain. Thus, the combinations and processes take place in the retina of the eyes and the brain, then it improves memory level to the people. This is how the colour enhance the memory. The research gives understanding more to people about how colour vision works in the brain to as a result of better memory.

The uses of colour in learning

Colour coding is usually used in making notes for students. This due to the encouragement from teachers and schools for the students to improve the academic performance. Colour coding means that each colour represents each points of what have been studied specifically. For example, student used a yellow highlighter to highlight the key points. There are five colours that commonly used for making notes or revision. The first colour is yellow it is used to highlight important points, facts and examples. Pink is usually used for material that is more important than in yellow such as definition and significant explanation. Moreover, blue is for titles of the subtopics and special terms. Green is used to mark the important dates, names and formula. The last common colour that has been used for student is purple, which is to highlight the key points of the rules if any in the materials such as guidelines. According to (Shannon, n.d.), 'it is no helpful if the page marked in one colour. Colour-coded system is needed to have immediate visual clues for revision.' This is helpful for students to understand more about colour-coded system and change the way of study instead of memorize all the passage in the text book.

The relationship between colour and memory

Colours help to process and store the images, it helps the brain to memorize better. Psychologist and researchers have been conducting a few experiment to identify the relationship between colour and memory performance. According to Utton (2016), 'forty-eight images were viewed by participants which were half of the total were in colour and the other half were black and white.' The participants then need to indicate the images whether they had seen or not, each picture with extra forty-eight new images were added and mixed with the previous images. 'The results of the experiment were on average 10% better scene which were in colour than the black and white, regardless of time limit.' Utton (2016). Also, in other experiment, it has reported that 'the ability of participants to memorize scenes in coloured condition is 5% higher than grey condition' (Mariam Adawiah Dzulkifli and Muhammad Faiz Mustafar 2013). Moreover, there has a team of psychologist who conducted the same experiments on the volunteers. It is then concluding the result through several related experiments, which is people pay more attention to the coloured pictures. Thus, it comes out with the idea that human brain stores colours as part of the overall memory of scenes and objects. By referring to several experiments that have been done by the researchers, it gives the same result which the memory level of coloured images or scenes are better than the black and white. Thus, it is an accurate result and can be relied and as proven for the issues.

In conclusion, colour is commonly use in daily life without people realize it. It gives many benefit to the people especially to the brain. It gives an impact, which can improve the memory level and helps to stores information with easier way. Also, colour is helping much for students to memorize the topics especially history subject and theory subjects. However, colour also can affect to the cognition process. For instance, if a kid sees a lot of yellow colour, he would be hyperactive as yellow stimulates the joyful and active on people. Thus, colour will give benefit if colour is used in appropriate way.



By researching through several sources, colour has its own properties and function on certain things. It has several experiment conducted by psychologist and researchers to discover how the colour works into the brain and cognition process. It is also discovering how to use colour-coding in correct ways and specifically for students to improve the academic performance. There has five colours in colour-coding system that can be used to highlight important points regarding its function. Apart from that, there has several experiment done by researchers to see the relationship between colours and memory performance. Therefore, hypothesis is accepted as it has proven that colours can boost memory through some experiments.

Answers for research questions:

1) Which colour can boost memory the most?

The colour that can boost memory the most is red. This is because red is a strong and powerful colour that gives the excitement effects to people. As people can remember the information that attracts them to know, the red is the most effective colour to boost memory as it grabs the attention of people to the information.

2) How does colour boost human memory?

Colour boost the memory by attracting peoples' attention. As colours have a potential to attract peoples' attention, it increases the level of memory when the information is focussing more. Moreover, colours are sensitive to the eyes which can be easily sensed into the eyes and the information would be transferred to the permanent memory storage as the level of attention is high.

3) How does colour be used in learning for students?

Colour can be used in learning by using the colour-coding system which is emphasizing the key points with different colours. There are five colours that can be used in the colour-coding system, which are yellow, pink, blue, green and purple, regarding its function. For example, if pink is used to highlight the important key words of explanation of the topic, it needs to be used as the same function for other subjects or information. This method is used to avoid the brain from confusing when receive the information. Thus, it improves and increases the level of memory to the students in their studies.

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