The relationship between gender and colour differences

I have always associated the colour pink with girls and the colour blue with boys, yet I have never asked myself why? This week I’ve decided to blog about Hurlbert & Ling’s (2007) study which investigated the influence of gender on preferred colour.

The title of the journal article for this study seemed to imply that there were biological explanations for why different genders prefer different colours, yet, did not precisely capture the essence of the actual study. Through using 208 participants: 179 British (79 male), 37 Chinese participants (19 male), Hurlbert & Ling (2007) devised computer-based tasks which aimed to monitor the participant’s preference towards colours. Both males and females were found to prefer contrasts of the colour blue, however, results showed females also seemed to have a higher preference for contrasts of the colour red. The study however, did not include any measurements of biology and therefore, the title seemed a little inaccurate- a title which stated that a culture difference was found seems more appropriate for this study.

On the other hand, the headline and conclusions drawn in the news report imply that Hurlbert & Ling’s (2007) study came to a definite conclusion that boys ‘really do’ prefer blue and girls prefer pink, yet, this is not entirely true.  Although the news report includes a decent summary of the study, including greater details of cultural differences found, the conclusions drawn are greatly simplified compared to the journal article. I believe the news report provides a clear, additional explanation of the findings found in the journal article which is written in a more understandable manner, however, I do suggest that the two articles should be read together in order to provide a full understanding of Hurlbert & Ling’s (2007) study. 

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About Nathalie Lauren Joyce

19. First year @ Bangor University. Psychology Blogger.

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