Thesis Title

A Cross-Cultural Look at the Emotional Response to Color: Implications for the Field of Art Therapy

Graduation Date

Spring 2010

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy

Degree Granting Institution

Notre Dame de Namur University

Program Name

Art Therapy


Arnell Etherington, PhD, MFT, ATR-BC

First Reader

Laury Rappaport, PhD, ATR-BC

Second Reader

Gwen Sanders, MFT, ART-BC


Abstract not available


The following survey-based research looks at the emotional response to color from the following cultural perspectives: Asian Americans, Caucasian Americans, Hispanic and Latino Americans, Middle Eastern Americans, African Americans, Indian Americans, Pacific Islander Americans and Multi-Racial Americans, as well as the associations each group has with each color. It was hypothesized that different cultural groups would have different emotional responses colors. This hypothesis was not proven, however there were interesting findings with associations attached to the colors red, gray and blue that showed a difference in response based on culture.