Ever wondered why it takes so long to choose a new car? If you think it’s about juggling fuel consumption against engine performance, or enough space for the dog against the number of cup holders, think again. Choosing the color is apparently the hardest decision to make, because the color, more than anything else, reflects who you really are. So, deep down, subconsciously we want to get it right! They say (‘they’ being psychologists researching color cognition) there is evidence to show that preferences for a certain color of car can be linked to personality type. So, a black car can suggest a rebellious type, impressed by status. A white car can suggest a modern thinker interested in new technology. Red can mean an outgoing or extroverted person, with one eye on the time and the other on himself. Blue, and you’re an upbeat, glass-half-full kind of person; silver – safe and mature; brown – quiet and introverted. These relationships are broad brush strokes and, on the surface, not so different from a horoscope or fortune cookie. But perhaps they have a point. Typically, we like a particular color because of certain associations we have with it, and we draw positive (or negative) meaning from those associations. When we see a color in a new situation, it comes loaded with those preconceptions and associations, and we apply our preconceived meaning to that new situation. Our approach to car color may not be any different. Unlike almost everything else we consider in a car, choosing a color is a personal thing, an aesthetic decision, not a practical one. As such, it reflects our personality and says something about us in a way an engine specification can’t. And because of that we get nervous about making the right decision to ensure we are judged in the right way. Perhaps there’s some truth in linking color to personality. Although we don’t really think about it, perhaps it’s there, in the back of our heads, waiting to pop out as soon as we arrive at the dealership. So, when you’re looking for your next car, find the color that really is you, not the color that others think is you.
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