How Does Clothing Color Influence First Impressions?

3.8 based on 90 ratings

Updated on Dec 12, 2012

Grade Level: 6th to 8th; Type: Social Science


The objective of this experiment is to determine if the color that a person wears when you first meet them influences your initial impression of their personality.

Research Question:

  • Does color influence first impressions?

Does color influence the way that you perceive others? This experiment will investigate this idea by testing whether the color of clothing worn by a person influences others’ first-impressions of their personality.


  • Computer
  • Printer
  • One volunteer
  • 5-10 T-shirts, each a different color
  • Male and female test subjects

Experimental Procedure

  1. Recruit a participant to serve as your person making a first-impression.
  2. Create a survey to evaluate what others’ impressions are of your volunteer. Example questions could include:
    • On a scale of 1 to 10, how outgoing is the person that you just met.
    • On a scale of 1 to 10, how creative do you think that this person is?
    • On a scale of 1 to 10, how smart is the person that you just met?
  3. Ask your volunteer to rehearse a prepared introduction. It should be very basic and should always be delivered to test subjects in exactly the same manner.
  4. Ask your volunteer to put on one of the colored T-shirts and introduce himself to a room of 20-30 test subjects.
  5. Ask the test subjects to take your survey.
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 with each of the colored T-shirts. Use a different set of test subjects for each experiment.
  7. Analyze your data. Did people always seem to have the same impression of your participant? Were there colors that seemed to alter test subjects’ perceptions of certain personality traits?

Terms/Concepts: color and first impressions

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