Effects of color images on stress reduction: Using images as mood stimulants


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Abstract

AimThe aim of this study was to determine whether color images can be used as mood stimulants.MethodsColor photographs of natural scenery were shown to an experimental group (n = 10), while the same images in black and white were shown to a control group (n = 10). The test subjects were healthy, adult volunteers who were exposed to psychosomatic stress in mental work rather than physical labor. To determine the effects of the color images, the levels of salivary chromogranin A (CgA) and salivary cortisol were measured as biochemical parameters, and the mood adjective score was examined as an emotional parameter before and after showing the subjects the images. The data obtained were statistically compared.ResultsIn the experimental group, the salivary CgA level decreased significantly after viewing the color images. In the control group, the salivary cortisol level increased significantly after viewing the black and white images. The changes in the salivary CgA and salivary cortisol values in the experimental group were significantly different from the corresponding changes in the control group. In the experimental group, after viewing the color images, the negative mean mood score decreased, and four subjects were shown to have had their mood changed to a more parasympathetically dominant state, as assessed by alterations in three or more of four stress parameters (CgA, cortisol, Multiple Mood Scale negative and positive factors).ConclusionColor images might potentially change the mood of a viewer to a more parasympathetically dominant state.

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