So I've been reading The Body Odd again and found an article that goes perfectly with Spring. It's a study that found that people who glanced at the color green for two seconds before starting a creative task performed more creatively than those who glanced at other colors.
Flower Photography by CarolynCochrane
In this study, published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin journal, 69 men and women were given two minutes to write down as many uses as possible for a tin can. A coder then rated each idea for its creativity and cleverness.
5x7 Matte Print of Grass Blades by Kudos2uPhotos
Overall, those who saw the color green for two seconds before the task came up with more creative ideas than those who saw white, gray, red, or blue. The green used was the green commonly seen in nature.
Pale Yellow by riotjane
Of course, this is a pretty small study, and I think the results from this study can lead to larger, more detailed studies. A larger sample of participants should be the first thing in order. Next, I'd like to see how they rated the creativity and cleverness of an idea. Third, what about looking at a color for longer than 2 seconds? And lastly, does it work if they used a green that wasn't natural looking?
Spring Leaves Abstract Photograph by FocusGroupFoto
But it doesn't surprise me that the green of nature inspires creativity. After all, seeing plants grow, especially after winter, is inspiring in itself. And, being in nature and seeing the sun outside shining on the grass makes me want to go out and do something, anything really. It's also not surprising since other colors are associated with affecting moods, such as red meaning passion, energy, or anger (basically leading to some sort of action), and blue bringing calm, melancholy, or peace (leading to inaction?) Regardless of all the unanswered questions this study brings, it can't hurt to add a little green to my work station :)
By Ben, via Flickr (one of my favorite pictures of all time!)