Lüscher color test

The Lüscher color test is a psychological test invented by Dr. Max Lüscher in Basel, Switzerland. Max Lüscher believed that sensory perception of color is objective and universally shared by all, but that color preferences are subjective, and that this distinction allows subjective states to be objectively measured by using test colors. Lüscher believed that because the color selections are guided in an unconscious manner, they reveal the person as they really are, not as they perceive themselves or would like to be perceived.

Execution of the small Lüscher test
The books are accompanied by the eight cards with the test colors. They are all laid out open at the beginning. The subject then selects the card whose color seems most likable to him, turns it over so that the number printed on the back can be seen, and puts it aside. After that, under the remaining cards, the one with the next best color is selected and turned over to the right of the first selected card. This continues until the least favorite card is taken and placed to the far right of the row of cards turned upside down.

The resulting sequence of numbers is subdivided into four pairs, with one symbol assigned to each pair: “+” for the first pair, “×” for the second pair, “=” for the third pair, and “-” for the final pair. During logging, the corresponding symbol of the pair to which the number belongs is inserted before each number. Example: “+4 +3 × 1 × 2 = 5 = 6 -0 -7”. The symbols indicate the relationship to the respective color:

symbol Value
“+” Strong favor
“×” Sympathy
“=” Indifference
“-” Rejection
When choosing colors, it is crucial to look at colors abstractly and not to associate them with any objects or decorative objects. Already Norman and Scott identified this in 1952 as a major problem of tests based on color preferences.

The test can then be repeated. If the second test run is different from the first, it is assumed that the latter is more spontaneous and therefore more authentic.

The score tables give an interpretation for each pair, each for each symbol. In the example, it would be looked up accordingly among “+4 + 3”, “× 1 × 2”, “= 5 = 6”, and “-0 -7”, where the ranking is relevant, i. H. “+4 +3” is interpreted differently than “+3 +4”. Finally, the first and the last number are considered, in the example “+4 -7”. The text of the interpretation contains percentages that indicate, based on a test with 36,892 students, which proportion of this pair was chosen. Furthermore, some stars are still indicated. The higher the number of accumulated stars, the sooner the test interprets this as potential mental ill-attitude.

Lüscher believed that personality traits could be identified based on one’s choice of color. Therefore, subjects who select identical color combinations have similar personalities. In order to measure this, he conducted a test in which subjects were shown 8 different colored cards and asked to place them in order of preference. Colors are divided between “basic” (blue, yellow, red, green) and “auxiliary” (violet, brown, grey, and black).

Colors Meanings
Blue “Depth of Feeling” passive, concentric, tranquility, calm, tenderness
Green “Elasticity of Will” passive, concentric, defensive, persistence, self-esteem/assertion, pride, control
Red “Force of Will” ex-centric, active aggressive, competitive, action, desire, excitement, sexuality
Yellow “Spontaneity” ex-centric, active, projective, aspiring, expectancy, exhilaration
Violet “Identification” unrealistic/ wishful fulfillment, charm, enchantment
Brown Bodily senses, indicates the body’s condition
Black Nothingness, renunciation, surrender or relinquishment
Grey Non-involvement and concealment
After subjects placed the cards in order from most liked to least liked, they were asked to evaluate the extent to which their personalities matched the descriptive statements formed by Lüscher of each color.

The results of the Lüscher-Color-Diagnostic contain indications pertaining to personal assessment and special, professional recommendations as to how psychological stress and the resulting physical symptoms can be avoided. It also offers additional information for verbal and homeopathic therapy.

The validity of the color test has been questioned. It may be an example of the Forer effect, where an ostensible personality analysis (actually consisting of vague generalities applicable to the majority of people) is reported to be accurate by subjects who had completed a personality test before reviewing their ‘results’. A 1984 comparison of the Lüscher color test and the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory found little agreement between the two tests, prompting the authors to urge cautious use of the former. Today, the MMPI is being used as a more valid assessor of personality.

It is often criticized that the validity of the test can not be proven. Even the Rorschach test, which also works with colors, was exposed to the criticism that the validation is primarily due to clinical experience, but hardly based on psychological experiments. In a similar direction, for example, the 1971 published criticism of Pickford, which misses in the published Random House test evidence for experiments that prove the hypotheses about the characterization of the test colors used. The procedure is rejected as dogmatic and uncritical. It is also interesting to ask to what extent the test is applicable to color blind people. Lüscher refers to a study by L. Steinke and concludes that the effectiveness of the test for color vision defects is not impaired. Pickford accuses Steinke of using the patients suffering from deuteranopia for comparison, but not those with protanopia who can barely distinguish the test colors orange-red and brown.

This was followed by a few psychological experiments. In 1971, French and Barney studied the effect of the test colors on 46 students, first providing the individual colors with predetermined adjectives, then conducting the eight-color test in duplicate and finally subjecting them to the Illinois Personality and Ability Testing to compare the indications for potential disorders. French and Barney saw the effect of the colors dark blue and pale yellow confirmed, but could not understand the effect attributed by Lüscher Orangerot. They also found that the positions of the primary colors are subject to high variability, while the modification colors were rather unaltered. Furthermore, gender differences were found in the affective reactions. Overall, French and Barney did not confirm the validity of the test as a tool to measure tension.

In 1974, Donnelly did the test on 98 psychology students, each time twice with 45 days of time difference, and then compared the results. He noticed that the first and eighth colors hardly changed, but the third or fourth color was very different. He also reports significant differences in gender and between Europe and America. A similar test with students also carried out Braun and Bonta, which also noted significant differences between Americans and Canadians. Because of the lack of correlation between the first and second rounds, they recommended discarding the test as a diagnostic tool.

Holmes and other authors from Emporia State University compared the Lüscher test with MMPI in 1984 and found that there are no significant matches. They suspected that despite all the quite high popularity of the Lüscher test could have their cause in the Barnum effect, d. H. Many of the interpretive texts are written in such general terms that they are considered by almost everyone to be correct. In a later investigation, they regarded this assumption as confirmed. Afterwards, the authors performed the test on 1143 patients of a psychiatric clinic. In doing so, they did not find any deviating preference for the modification colors that would be expected in this case.

Picco and Dzindolet of Cameron University published a study in 1994 that examined the validity of Lüscher’s assumptions about the four primary colors. Two experiments were performed, the first of which served to improve the process. As part of the second experiment, 98 psychology students passed the test. This should be compared with the self-assessment of the subjects, to what extent the interpretations regarding the preferred color applies to them. Because of the disturbance factor of social desirability, four interpretive texts have been developed for each of the four basic colors, which are neutral in this respect. Subjects were then presented with all 16 interpretation texts, each assessing each interpretation individually at a level from 1 to 7, to what extent it would apply to them. The experiment was completed by the Eysenck Personality Inventory (EPI) developed by Hans Jürgen Eysenck. The authors did not see the interpretations of the Lüscher test confirmed. On the contrary, they found that subjects who preferred teal were more extroverted than subjects who found dark blue or light yellow most likable. Conversely, volunteers who favored Light Yellow were considered more introverted than those who had cyan in the first place. Based on these results, the validity of the Lüscher test was questioned.

To substantiate the validity of the test, Lüscher included a detailed bibliography with works on and about the Lüscher test in the books, which is also updated on the Internet. In particular, authors from the Anglo-Saxon world complain that there is hardly any English-language literature underneath and it is difficult to obtain. Because of this one-sidedness, adaptations of the test to non-European cultures are also missing.

In their critical review of color psychology, which also includes the Lüscher test, Whitfield and Wiltshire conclude in 1990 that the assumption that the response to color impressions depended on the emotional state was well documented in experiments, but was therefore not yet clear whether this allows conclusions about character traits.

Source From Wikipedia