The influence of garment color on the perception of personal traits
Czernik, Michele L.
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The influence of garment color on the perception of personal traits was investigated in relation to selected perceiver variables. An experimental research design was developed to examine the effects of clothing color on perception of personal traits and to determine whether perceivers' sex, color preferences in general and for clothing, exposure to color theory, clothing interest and fashion opinion leadership affect perceivers' perception of a stimulus wearing varied colors of suits in a first impression situation. One-hundred-eighty male and female undergraduate and graduate subjects from Northern Illinois University viewed slides of a stimulus model dressed in eight different colors (red, blue, green, purple, yellow, orange, grey, and black) of suits. The stimulus models were each evaluated separately using a semantic differential questionnaire containing fifteen bi-polar adjective pairs of personal traits on a 7-point Likert-type scale. Subjects also completed a questionnaire containing questions pertaining to their color preferences, exposure to color theory, clothing interest, fashion opinion leadership, color blindness, and demographics. Data were analyzed by ANOVA and Pearson correlation. Results of ANOVA and computed f values showed significant differences between groups in perception of personal traits of eight models dressed in varied colors for gender, color theory exposure, clothing interest and fashion opinion leadership. Results of Pearson correlation showed significant relationships between both subjects' general and clothing color preferences and perception of personal traits. In addition, a significant relationship was found for all eight colors between subjects' general color preference rankings and clothing color preference rankings. The findings indicate that color of dress is a significant factor in the perception of personal traits of female strangers.