Encyclopedia of Color Science and Technology

Living Edition
| Editors: Ronnier Luo

Psychological Color Space and Color Terms

  • David Bimler
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27851-8_52-5



Psychological color space is the relational structure among color stimuli that can be found using empirical tasks that assess color similarities. Color terms are the lexical categories (which can vary across different ethnolinguistic groups) that are used to label, or describe, color appearances organized as meaningful partitions of the psychological color space.

Psychological Color Space

A color-ordering system requires three independent modes of variation to accommodate the full gamut of color experience and arrange all possible hues within a coherent continuum, in which similar pairs of colors are adjacent neighbors. This requirement, so familiar now, only emerged after a long history of trials with one- or two-dimensional schemes [1]. Here colors are considered in isolation as opposed to in the context of other colors where induced simultaneous-contrast effects complicate color appearance.



Color Space Color Category Color Term Primary Term Color Wheel 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Health and Human DevelopmentMassey UniversityPalmerston NorthNew Zealand