May 9, 2005

Bright Red Is The New(born's) Black

According to the latest research at the Nottingham Toddler Lab, in England, newborns (ok, 4-9 month-olds) can not only distinguish 'colours,' they have 'favourites.'

To test this, researchers observed how long a baby would stare at a solid 'coloured' screen. The longer they stared, the more they like it. [Using this same methodology, Tellies beat out refrigerators as Britons' favourite appliances, and ceilings are the most popular architectural feature of people in bed.]

Brown, black and grey weren't very 'popular,' while strong, saturated colors like red, blue, and purple were hits. This is a win-win for the baby industry, at once validating their own tacky design decisions, while driving urban minimalist parents that much further over the edge.

To test for possible cultural differences, the Lab repeated the result with both white and Chinese babies. Says the BBC: "One might have expected the Chinese children to prefer red because of this colour's good luck connotations, [or because one harboured quaint-but-wrong notions about a country one's own country once turned into a drug-addled tea factory.] But this was not the case."

"Babies have favourite colours" [bbc, via robotwisdom]

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