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Research Article Learning in Color: How Color and Affect Influence Learning Outcomes

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4 Author(s)
Kumi, R. ; Univ. of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR, USA ; Conway, C.M. ; Limayem, M. ; Goyal, S.

Research problem: The purpose of the study is to understand how affective reactions to color impact learning attitudes and outcomes in a computer-mediated learning environment. Research question: How do color differences change affective processes and outcomes in computer-mediated communication? Literature review: Several previous studies exploring particular characteristics and learning in computer-mediated environments influenced the review of the literature. The literature on color psychology indicates that color preferences and affective reactions to color can influence behaviors and attitudes. The literature on goal achievement motivation posits that affective dispositions influence goal orientation, motivation, and individual outcomes. The literature on affect infers that affective reactions are responses to events, and these reactions influence attitudes and behaviors. The current study draws on these prior studies to examine affective reaction to color and learning outcomes in a computer-mediated learning environment. Methodology: We conducted a quasiexperimental study with 79 participants, who listened to a visual presentation lecture with either blue or yellow background and then completed a survey on their affective reactions, learning attitudes, and outcomes. Results and discussion: The results of our study indicate that color is not neutral and may influence learning attitudes and outcomes and, hence, the color of computer technology interface design can influence learning outcomes. Practitioners and academics must take people's affective reactions to color into account in designs and studies of visual information presentations. The sample size and the focus on two color hues (yellow and blue) may have some limitations on the conclusions and generalizability of this study. Future studies should examine more color hues and color saturation to further our understanding of affective reactions to colors and consequent impact on attitudes and behavioral ou- comes.

Published in:

Professional Communication, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:56 ,  Issue: 1 )

Date of Publication:

March 2013

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