Personality and colour

Consumers not only ascribe personality traits to products and services, but they also tend to associate personality factors with specific colours. For instance, Coca-Cola is associated with red, which connotes excitement. Blue bottles are often used to sell wine because the colour blue appeals particularly to female consumers and they buy the majority of wine. Yellow is associated with novelty and black frequently connotes sophistication. A combination of black and white communicates that a product is carefully engineered, high tech and sophisticated in design. IBM has consistently used an all-black case with a few selected red buttons and bars to house its very successful line of ThinkPad laptops. Nike has used black, white and a touch of red for selected models of its sport shoes. Many fast-food restaurants use combinations of bright colours like red, yellow and blue, for their roadside signs and interior designs. These colours have come to be associated with fast service and inexpensive food. In contrast, fine dining restaurants tend to use sophisticated colours like gray, white, shades of tan, or other soft pale, or muted colours to reflect the feeling of fine, leisurely service.

Conclusion : Personality is a complex concept that reflects many influences both from within and outside the individual.

Personality traits

Personality traits are enduring characteristics that describes an individual's behaviour. They include shy, aggressive, submissive, ambitious, loyal and timid. Raymond Cattell listed 16 personality traits, but he himself concluded that they were superficial and lacking in descriptive power. The 16 source or primary traits are presented below :



Vs. Outgoing


Less intelligent

Vs.More intelligent


Affected by feelings Vs. Emotionally more stable



Vs. Dominant



Vs. Happy-go-lucky



Vs. Conscientious



Vs. Venturesome


Tough minded

Vs. Sensitive



Vs. Suspicious



Vs. Imaginative


Forth right

Vs. Shrewd



Vs. Apprehensive



Vs. Experimenting


Group independent Vs. Self-dependent



Vs. Controlled



Vs. Tense

In addition to the above table, one of the most widely used personality framework is called the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The MBTI has 100 questions. On the basic of the answers, they are classified as :

• Extroverted or Introverted (E or I).

• Sensing or Intuitive (S or I)

• Thinking or Feeling (T or F)

• Perceiving or Judging (P or J)

These classifications are then combined into 16 personality types, which are different from the 16 personality traits listed above.

Four Type Thesis


Low anxiety

Extrovert Tense, excitable, unstable

Composed, trustful, confident

Warm, sociable and dependent

Adaptable, warm sociable and dependent


Tense, excitable, unstable Cold and


Composed, trustful, confident Adaptable calm cold and shy

Five basic dimensions (Big Five) underline all the traits. These 5 traits are especially related to job performance. The characteristics of these traits can be summarized as follows :

1. Extroversion : Sociable, talkative and assertive.

2. Agreeableness : Good natured, co-operative and trusting.

3. Conscientiousness : Responsible, dependable, persistent and achievement oriented

4. Emotional Stability : Viewed from a negative stand point-tense, insecure and nervous and when viewed from a positive stand point - calm enthusiastic, secure.

5. Openness to experience : Imaginative, artistically sensitive and intellectual. But the traits will not be predicators of employee behaviour. This is because traits ignore special situational context. As a result, personality traits can be identified only with the extreme ends, i.e., extreme extroverts and extreme introverts can be easily predictable. But a majority people are the middle range. Personality traits cannot be able to predict human behaviour in a variety of situations. However, the identification of "big five" traits relating to the job being performed, indicates the important role that personality plays in organizational behaviour.

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