Can Seeing Green Increase Creativity?

By Brad Bell

 One interesting topic concerns the influence or effects of color.  More specifically, it may be interesting to learn about the possible effects of the color green.  One question concerning the psychology of green is whether viewing the color green can increase creativity.

Lichtenfeld, Elliot, Maier, and Pekrun (2012) investigated the influence of viewing the color green on creativity in four experiments.  The findings from the four experiments supported the idea that viewing green can increase creativity on a task. For example, in the third experiment, participants who viewed green were, on the average, judged to be more creative on a task than participants who viewed grey or red.   Moreover, the findings of the third and fourth experiments suggest that the effect of viewing the color green on creativity was not due to mood.  The effect of viewing the color green on the mood measure was not stastisically significant in their third and fourth experiments.

These findings may have important practical implications.  To increase creativity, it may be a good idea to view the color green. For example, one could look out the window at the backyard while writing a story or poem.


Lichtenfeld, S., Elliot, A. J., Maier, M. A., Pekrun, R.  (2012).  Fertile green:  Green facilitates creative performance.  Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 38, 784-797.