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Hope Frihauf

Brian Morgan
Physics, Period 5
5/6/15

The Human Eye Perception of Color


I.

Abstract:
The purpose of The Human Eye Perception of Color lab was to find out if there is
a specific color that the human notices more than others and if so, what color it is. The
root questions within this were why people use certain colors to draw attention to
specific objects and why certain colors are used for advertisements, warnings, or labels.
To find this, people were tested based on memory. They had a certain amount of time to
look over objects that were different colors of the rainbow. They were then asked what
they remember. From this, a check or tally was made for each object the person
remembered. The total checks or tallies were counted up to determine the results and
find a conclusion. The conclusion that was reached from this data was that green was
the most noticeable color to the human eye. It also showed that red was the second
most noticeable. Further research showed that those are the most sensitive color cones
in the eye. This explains why red and green are commonly used for traffic signs, traffic
lights, warning labels, food labels, and advertisements.

II.

Introduction:
Human eyes only see a certain amount of colors. These colors make up the
visible light spectrum. The placement and intensity of light waves determine what color
the eye sees. The length and frequency of the wave also determines what color the eye
sees. The wavelength is the distance from trough to trough or amplitude to amplitude on
a wave. The amplitudes and trophs are the height or depth of a wave. The frequency of
a wave is found based on how far apart or close together the wave cycles are. Shorter
light waves with a high frequency cause the eye to see darker colors such as violet.
Longer light waves with a lower frequency cause the eye to see brighter colors such as
red. The spectrum ranges from red to violet, going from longer waves to shorter waves.
Based on this information, the point of this lab is to see what color the human eye
perceives the most easily. This could explain why stop signs are red, why stoplights have
red, yellow, and green, or why railroad crossings flash red lights. This lab tests a variety
of people based on what colors they can remember. The results should show one color
as being remembered by more people than other colors. Through this, a conclusion can
be made about the perception of color by the human eye.

II.

Question: Does the color of an object affect its ability to be noticed by the human eye?

III.

Hypothesis: If eight people are tested on what colors they remember based on objects
that they see, then they will remember the green objects more because green is noticed
more by the human eye than any other color.

IV.

Materials:
2 red objects
2 orange objects
2 yellow objects
2 green objects
2 blue objects
2 purple objects
1 table

Figure 1

In order to perform the Human Eye Perception of Color lab, a table of 12 objects is
needed. 2 objects should be red, 2 should be orange, 2 yellow, 2 green, 2 blue, and 2 purple (as
seen in Figure 1). After this is finished, make sure the the table is covered so that no one can
see the objects. Bring one person to the opposite corner of the room from the table and explain
what they need to do. Bring the person to the table of objects, uncover it, and give them 5
seconds to look over the objects. Once they have had time to see all of the objects, cover up the
table and take them to the other corner. Ask them what objects they remember (ex. shape,
color, texture, etc.) Record information by putting a check or X in the row of the object most
similar to their description. Repeat this with 7 other people. Once the test is completed for all 8
people, make a conclusion about what colored object most people remembered. This
conclusion should be reached by counting the amount of checks or Xs each object had in their
row.

VI.

Results:
Kaitlyn

Caity

Oakley

Elle

Object
1- Red
Tape
Dispens
er

Object
2Orange
Tube

Object
3Yellow

Ben

Nicole

Teddy

Sabina

Tube/Pl
ate
Object
4Green
Slide

Object
5- Blue
Zig Zag
Slide

Object
6Purple
Plank

Object
7- Red
Cover
With a
Hole

Object
8- Hot
wheels
race
track

Object
11- Blue
Swirl
Slide
Object

Object
9Yellow
Circle
and
Stick
Slide
Object
10Green
Sandca
stle
Lego
Thing

12Purple
Pencil
Object 1- 7 people
Object 2- 4 people
Object 3- 1 person
Object 4- 6 people
Object 5- 5 people
Object 6- 4 people
Object 7- 5 people
Object 8- 3 people
Object 9- 1 people
Object 10- 7 people
Object 11- 1 person
Object 12- 0 people
Most noticed object(s): Object 1 and Object 10
Second most noticed object(s): Object 4
Least noticed object(s): Object 12
Possible errors: if the objects were in different spots for each person, if the people already knew
what color was noticed the most by the human eye, if people remembered objects based on
their shape, rather than their color, or if the check marks were put in the wrong row
corresponding to the object. These errors could have altered which objects were most
noticeable and might have made the data not as accurate as it could have been.
VII.

Discussion:
The point of this experiment was to find the color that is most noticeable by the human
eye. From the data collected in the color experiment, it was concluded that green was most
easily noticed by the human eye. The green object number 4 was remembered by 6 out of 8
people and the green object number 10 was remembered by 7 out of 8 people. Green was the
color that people saw the most, therefore my hypothesis was correct. The second most noticed
objects were the red objects. Object 1 was seen by 7 out of 8 people and object 7 was seen by
5 out of 8 people. The results I got in this lab were correct because the human eyes green
color cone is the most sensitive and the red color cone is the second most sensitive. This
means that the human eye is more likely to notice green than any other color. That also means
that red is second most noticeable to the human eye. This likely explains why green and red are
common colors for traffic signs and lights.
Some possible errors during the test could have affected the results. These could have
been if the objects were in the wrong spots every time they were shown to people, if the people
already knew what color was noticed the most by the human eye, if people remembered objects
based on their shape, rather than their color, or if the check marks were put in the wrong row
corresponding to the object. Despite possible errors, the conclusion I came to was correct. If I

was to do this experiment again, there are steps that I could take to make the results more
accurate. These could be having labeled spots for the objects, doing the experiment in another
room, using generic objects, and using 6 objects so that people would only have to tell me the
color of the objects. To find even more information for this topic, I could do further testing with
the science of the human eye. This would give me even more exact results.