Xerox reports that color increases readers' attention spans and recall by 82%, comprehension by as much as 73% and learning and retention by 78%. Interactive Journals are carefully designed with numerous aesthetic and associative properties and benefits of color in mind in order to engage the participant while impacting attention, retention and comprehension. As explained by Hall (2004), colours significantly affect levels of arousal in the nervous system (Wilson, 1966; Jacobs and Hustmyer, 1974). Farley (1970) found that this arousal of the nervous system significantly impacts long-term retention. Ultimately, these findings were combined by Shieh and Lin (2000) who found that multi-color or color combinations had a greater impact on performance when measuring participants' ability to perform visual identification tasks (cited in Hall, 2004).
The importance of color combinations is recognized and applied in the development of Interactive Journaling® while breaking the visual monotony of black and white as found in traditional workbooks. The novelty of color found in Interactive Journaling® activates the individual's central nervous system and contributes to more attentive and gainful learning. Physiological applications of color exist in the medical field as well as schools, workplaces and other performance-driven settings.
If you've ever wondered why surgical gloves are always blue or green, it is to avoid a depth illusion caused by the surgeon constantly focusing on the red-violet color of human organ tissue (Vodvarka, 1999). The visual relief provided by a contrasting color allows the surgeon to regain his or her visual perception and maintain focus on the red-violet color without suffering from "ocular fatigue (Birren, 1961)." Interactive Journals help prevent this visual fatigue caused by traditional black-and-white materials and become a source of visual relief by incorporating multi-color graphics, text and backgrounds that do not drown the user's visual sense with the monotony of a single color.
Social learning theorists explain that gaining the attention of the participant is a paramount precondition to learning. The Change Companies®' use of color attracts attention and satisfies this necessary precondition. This is supported by Jennings (2000) who found that "pleasing visuals are important because they create first impressions which result in a desire to explore further." Because Interactive Journals are placed directly into the hands of the end user, it is essential for us to develop quality tools that are visually diverse, proven to be engaging and arousing.
Wilson, G.D. (1966). Arousal properties of red versus green. Perceptual and Motor
Skills, 23, 942-949.
Farley, F.H. (1970). Arousal, attention and consolidation in human memory. Paper
presented at American Psychological Association Annual Meeting, Miami,
Jacobs, K.W. and Hustmyer, F. E. (1974). Effects of four psychological primary colors
on gsr, heart rate, and respiration rate. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 38, 763-
Shieh, K. and Lin, C. (2000). Effects of screen type, ambient illumination, and color
combination on vdt visual performance and subjective preference.
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 26, 527-536.
Vodvarka, Frank. (1999). Aspects of Color in regard to a session at 21st Facilitators'
Birren, Faber. (1961). Color Psychology and Color Therapy: A Factual Study of the
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Jennings, M. (2000). Theory and models for creating engaging and immersive e-
commerce websites. Proceedings of the ACM Computer Personnel
Conference, pp. 77-85.