In a new study, a team of scientists has found which is better: gold or blue.
Their findings, published in the journal Science Advances, suggest that people will choose the former based on a “lack of stigma” about the colour.
They also suggest that “gold may be perceived as a superior material” and “blue may be associated with less stigmatising attributes”.
The research team studied the reactions of people to two types of products, “a gold dress” and a blue dress.
Participants were asked to make a choice between a gold dress and a pair of blue jeans.
The results revealed that participants were more likely to choose a gold-coloured dress, when the dress was cheaper than a pair, but were less likely to make that choice when the blue dress was more expensive.
The study found that people were less inclined to pay for a blue-colour dress when they were in a good mood and when the cost of the dress exceeded the cost per pair.
Dr. Daniela Bockmann, the lead author of the study, said the findings have important implications for the way we shop and the way people interact online.
“We know that people have different perceptions of colour, and that colour may affect perception and behaviour,” Dr Bockheim said.
“For example, people might feel less confident in a blue gown when wearing blue jeans, but feel more confident in the gold dress when wearing gold shoes.
The question is whether we see colours in a more positive way.”
The study also found that colour-blindness was a common factor in decisions, as participants who were colorblind chose a gold gown when they thought it was cheaper.
But for people who were able to perceive colours, it wasn’t as important.
For example, the gold-colour-blind participants tended to prefer a dress made of the same material as the blue-colour dress, Dr Bocksmann said.
So while a gold outfit may be seen as a more flattering colour, people tend to make the same choice when purchasing a blue one.
“If we think about a gold ensemble, we’re thinking about the same thing that we’re buying for ourselves, that’s the same kind of quality, the same type of material,” Dr. Bockman said.
The researchers say the findings highlight the importance of social stigma and the negative consequences of purchasing products that are perceived to be more expensive than others.
The research was funded by the ARC Centre for Excellence in Health and Social Development and the European Commission.