Women DO Like Pink Better

If you thought that “pink is for girls, blue is for boys” was mere gender stereotyping, you’ll be surprised by research results that show women really do prefer colors with more pink in them. Anna Hulbert, a neuroscientist at Newcastle University and the leader of the study, thinks the preference may date to our hunter-gatherer days when women were responsible for selecting ripe fruit. Overall, both men and women had a preference for blue colors.

In the study, the researchers asked a group of men and women to look at about 1,000 pairs of colored rectangles on a computer screen in a dark room and pick the ones they liked best as quickly as possible.

Afterwards, Hurlbert and colleagues plotted the results along the color spectrum and found that while men prefer blue, women gravitate towards the pinker end of the blue spectrum.

The brief report we saw at MSNBC.com, Women really do prefer pink, study finds didn’t explain how the researchers ruled out cultural factors. Presumably, unless the subjects were raised in a bubble, most of them have been bombarded by color messages for years, ranging from pink baby clothes for girls, pink product packaging for women, and so on. The “ripe fruit” explanation sounds a bit speculative as well. Nevertheless, marketers can profit from the conclusion of the study – everyone like blue, but women skew toward the pinkish blues.

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Roger Dooley writes and speaks about marketing, and in particular the use of neuroscience and behavioral research to make advertising, marketing, and products better. He is the primary author at Neuromarketing, and founder of Dooley Direct LLC, a marketing consultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

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4 responses to "Women DO Like Pink Better" — Your Turn

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Chris Tregenza 29. August 2007 at 4:08 am

Have a look at this post on the Bad Science blog. It nicely takes apart the whole study and shows it (or at least the study’s conclusions) to be rubbish.

http://www.badscience.net/?p=518

Chris

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Roger Dooley
Twitter: rogerdooley
29. August 2007 at 6:48 am

Thanks for the link, Chris. That analysis confirms my suspicions about the “ripe fruit” bit.

Roger

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Becky 21. November 2007 at 6:12 pm

I have NEVER liked pink!! I TOLERATE it. My favorite colors,since infancy, are bright yellow and bright green. I’d rather have black everything than even ONE pink thing! (All 3 sisters tolerate pink, but favorites are/were other colors.)

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Beibei 13. September 2010 at 2:02 am

I’ve interestingly noticed that my preferred color has changed from blue to pink with age. I used to consider pink as the ugliest color when I was younger, but now I love pink! I used to love blue. The background of my power point presentation slides was always blue. I still like blue now but it’s less favoured than pink.

Beibei

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