Beige all the Rage

Beige coloured walls induce more anger in subjects than other colours, even taupe, says Doctor Ruby Patterson, a result coming from a study of more than 5,000 people from around the Swansea, Wales, area.

Subjects were given a variety of tasks, ranging from simple and fun to hard and frustrating, as part of another study group, within different rooms of different colours. While brightly coloured, distinctly hued walls were all associated with higher levels of demonstrated emotion, beige walls had a consistent trend – ire.

“It was astounding just how varied the emotions were in other rooms compared to beige, specifically beige-II. While beige-I through to IV all produced similar results, beige-II was the outlier,” she says. “White, greys and blacks show little relation to emotion, whereas deep colours inspired more emotional responses to questions and tasks given.”

When asked why beige would trigger an almost exclusively angry emotion in candidates, Ruby is hesitant to answer.

“Who can say exactly? It could be that beige is to non-descript as to be associated with everything mundane, such as parchment and doughy bread. We expected it would have produced feelings of boredom or, at the most, frustration. The results we saw were nothing short of violent.”

So violent, in fact, that in three out of the five sessions involving beige, each with different groups of people, members would ultimately physically fight and draw blood.

“We did notice that as soon as blood was spilt, the tensions decreased and apologies were issued,” she said.

She hopes to follow on from these studies to see whether drawing blood can be used to settle conflicts. The implications have wide ranging application from boardroom negotiations to diplomatic relations.

“Imagine being able to bring matters to a head with a change in wall colour, only to resolve them almost immediately with some well coordinated violence,” she says.

I <3 TV

Eating endorphin inspiring foods – such as chocolate – while performing similarly stimulating activities – such as watching television – leads to a ‘confused relationship with one’s environment’, says Doctor Christine Richwell of Montmorency Social Research Institute.

Monitoring the brain and hormone activity of subjects, Doctor Richwell demonstrated that those who consumed chocolate while watching television, playing on a game console or interacting with a mobile device exhibited signs of ‘falling in love’. The patterns observed by those participants in the study who did consume the food closely correlated to the state of being in love, even when the chocolate was later removed.

“It seems that the chocolate encourages false feelings to emerge. What’s not clear is whether the ‘love’ is directed toward the device or what is being presented upon the device,” she says, “Or if it is not directed at anything in particular. What is clear is that the consumption of food in conjunction with leisure activities creates an artificial world in which the participant experiences unreasonable feelings toward inanimate objects and greatly increases the chance that they will demonstrate unreasonable emotions in relation to that device.”

The study rose from an observation regarding divorcees, that in a proportionally significant number of cases, one or both of the divorcees had trouble relating to the real world as determined by an online psychological test.

“We’re not talking huge percentages, but they are significant. Ten to fifteen percent based upon a study done in Amsterdam. Marriages are only one victim of this kind of dissonance between reality and one’s emotions,” she goes on to say, “If I can demonstrate that humans are ‘loving’ their devices more than other humans, or objectophilia, then we’ve got a real problem on our hands. The normal human emotions of love, compassion and empathy should be applied to other humans, not electronic devices.”

When asked whether she recommends people stop eating chocolate while watching television, Doctor Richwell is cautious, “No, I don’t think that’s the answer. That would be a simplistic solution to what is really a complex problem. I believe the real problem is understanding and controlling one’s emotions, putting more effort into researching whether particular content is what is evoking such a response and what the long term effects of such disorders may be on the person, their families and the greater community. Whether or not there should be legislation to prevent such interactions, that is not for me to say.”

Doctor Richwell avoided answering questions about whether providers were deliberately altering their content to take advantage of the amorous response. She says that while it is entirely possible, and even plausible, that such companies could have found a formula to produce such sensations and keep their audiences ‘hooked’, her scientific research does not hold enough data to draw any conclusions.

“I’m a scientist, not an activist,” she says, “I can only show you what I have found, nothing more.”