Encyclopedia of Color Science and Technology

2016 Edition
| Editors: Ming Ronnier Luo

Psychologically Pure Colors

  • Wayne Wright
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-8071-7_78



Psychologically pure colors are colors that exhibit a homogeneous appearance on some dimension of perceived color. Purity of appearance is closely tied up with theoretical understandings of the three canonical color attributes of hue, saturation, and lightness. According to the dominant Hering opponent color framework, the hues red, green, blue, and yellow are distinctive and fundamental to all hue perception, in part due to the fact that they admit of pure or unique variants and all other hues (such as orange) appear as mixtures of them. Saturation and related notions are characterized essentially in terms of purity, involving judgments regarding differences in the appearance of chromatic stimuli and achromatic stimuli. Highly saturated colors appear to have low achromatic content or to be more intensely chromatic. In the achromatic domain, the lightness dimension runs from light to dark. The corresponding extreme ends of that...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyCalifornia State University, Long BeachLong BeachUSA