What does the color red mean in psychology?

What does the color red mean in psychology?
It is said that red was the first of the colors to receive a name. This tonality is part of the so-called primary colors and we can find it in many elements found in our day to day, in nature, clothing, advertising ... however, throughout history, has acquired different meanings and connotations.

The color red has been a sign of power and nobility, anger, aggressiveness, love, passion and even, in some Eastern cultures, happiness.

From the studies of the psychology of color, it has been shown that red captures our attention in a very remarkable way and greatly stimulates the sense of sight. In this Transkerja.com article, we will explain in detail what meaning the color red has in psychology and how this meaning affects our day-to-day life.

What is the psychology of colors

This set of research in psychology has aroused much curiosity in society. The psychology of color has gained a remarkable transcendence since its usefulness was discovered in the world of sales, marketing and communication. In addition, the importance of knowing how colors affect mood was found to be able to complement many psychological therapies with color-oriented treatments (chromo therapy).

The psychology of colors is therefore defined as the field of study aimed at investigating the effect that the spectrum of tonalities and colors has on the emotions, decisions and behavior of human beings. While it is true that it is a sector that has much to investigate, is investing a lot in it to become, over time, an important field in scientific and psychological research. It is undeniable that colors affect the brain, now we must find out how they do it.

What transmits the color red: psychological meaning?

As we mentioned initially, the psychological meaning of the color red is one of the widest. It has many connotations and some of them vary according to the culture. For many, it is not only a mental effect, but also a spiritual one. Next, we will explain in detail what meaning the color red has in psychology.


Red is a very strident and striking color at a visual level; it even has effects on our heart rate and often produces a remarkable neuronal activation. For that same reason, it tends to be related to either passionate and energetic feelings, positive (love) or negative (anger) passions.


Since the beginning of history, the human being has observed this color sprouting from the inside of his body and leaving the flames that devastated their lands, red has meant for our species a sign that something alarming was happening. For that reason, our body activates the physiological reactions of stress when we see that color. In addition, this psychological effect has been used to use red in signs of prohibition, danger and alarm.


The same color that produces activation excitement and alarm can also make us feel welcomed. The psychological influences of red are very numerous and, in this case, we feel warmth when the tone of this color is not too strident. In Western culture, it is also associated with love and sensuality, which is why certain red garments often have sexual connotations.

It is curious to mention that in certain cultures, red symbolizes joy. In China, for example, red is used, as an adjective to define a business is thriving or a person who has good fortune. The color red in Eastern cultures means good luck and happiness, it is also said to connect with nature by being associated with the earthly chakra.

The red color in advertising

Despite the fact that it can be quite sight-consuming, in advertising they use this color a lot to convey warmth , using shades of little saturated red, or dynamism through more strident reds. If we start thinking, surely more than one brand that uses that color in its logo will come to mind. Red is also used to denote urgency and alarm, many times, we create the need to buy or use a product by using this color in their ads.

Physically, it increases our heart rate, increases appetite and evokes strong emotions, which is why in the marketing world they also use red to attract compulsive buyers.

We also associate red with socialist political tendencies; this association is given by a tradition of these parties to use the same color, paying tribute to the struggle and the origin of socialism.

Spiritual meaning of the color red

The colors are also associated with various symbolisms and spirituality, said association is due to the effect of the vibratory energy of the colors in our soul, however, there are not many confirmations of it.

In this case, the spiritual meaning of the color red is related to the healing rituals of hundreds of years ago and to the representation of fire in our culture. For example:
  • For the alchemists of middle age, the color red symbolized prosperity and implied that their experiments were progressing properly.
  • Centuries ago, doctors used blankets and red curtains to help heal measles sufferers, believing that they would be cured earlier.
  • The emperors and great nobles dressed in red accessories to show that they had a lot of money, this was because the dye of that color was the most expensive to get.
For these reasons, under a more mystical interpretation, it is said that red is a symbol of life, health, strength, attraction and power.