What is the Lüscher color test and is there evidence that it is valid?

What is the Lüscher color test and is there evidence that it is valid?

Who am I? This question has been asked by humankind for thousands of years and has been answered in a variety of ways. In ancient times you might have had to wait outside the Academia in Greece, just to pick the brain of Aristotle for that kind of personal awakening. Nowadays all you need is Wi-Fi and a quick Google search to gain access to new roads of self-discovery, in the form of personality quizzes.

Popularized through the rise of the internet you can find a test for almost anything to reveal your true self, from what Friends character are you most like, to what food choices reveal about your deepest fears. Despite some of the more ludicrous examples, psychologists have been developing and studying legitimate personality tests for decades. Among these stands an interesting test you might not have heard of.

The Lüscher color test

The Lüscher color test was created and published by Swiss psychotherapist Max Lüscher in 1947. While pursuing his doctorate in the study of psychology, clinical psychiatry and philosophy, he developed a theory relating color preference to personality, using it as the basis for his dissertation. From this dissertation, the Lüscher color diagnostic was born, eventually becoming known as the Lüscher color test.

The next question must be, why should you care? In your professional office environment, it’s more vital than ever to understand the community you work with and how you fit into that community. Different personalities can be far more suited to certain positions than others, including yours. Some employers even administer personality tests, like the Lüscher color test, to job applicants in order to see how they would fit into the company and meet its particular needs. It has been reported 89 of the Fortune 100 companies utilize personality tests during the hiring process.

Implementing inclusion and diversity requires the knowledge of how to help different personalities work effectively together, or understand why they don’t. This unique color test might give you insight into your own nature and how you fit into your current office or future employment.

What is the Lüscher color test?

The Lüscher color test is fairly basic in its general concept. It’s a psychological test based on the idea that personality traits can be identified by the color preferences of any individual.

The color test begins by asking the participant to look at 8 different colored cards and then asking them to place the cards in order of preference. The colors used are divided into two groups of four, auxiliary colors (violet, brown, grey and black) and basic colors (blue, yellow, red and green). Based on the colors’ order your personality traits are supposedly revealed. Lüscher provided descriptive statements for each color to define these traits. It’s recommended to take the test more than once to see if results vary.

Max Lüscher claimed this color test could reveal several things about an individual. This included their range of ability to communicate, withstand stress and ability to perform professional and personal tasks on a daily basis. He claimed the Lüscher color test could also measure a person’s overall psychophysical state, in other words, measure how our psychological health is affecting our physical health. Instead of being asked direct questions, like most personality tests, Lüscher’s test guides an individual in an unconscious manner. This was done to reveal each person as they truly are, not how they wish to be seen or how they perceive themselves to be.

What do the colors represent?

The colors are divided as follows:

Basic colors

  • Blue – This color conveys a great depth of feeling, evoking tranquility, tenderness, love, contentment and affection.
  • Yellow – This color represents great spontaneity and is also active, investigatory, and eccentric. Its affective aspects can be originality, expectancy and exhilaration.
  • Red – This force of will color represents a personality that is more aggressive, autonomous, competitive and operative. Other aspects of personality include domination, desire and excitability.
  • Green – This color represents elasticity of will including elements of persistence, defensiveness, concentric nature, passiveness, low self-esteem and resistance to change.

Auxiliary colors

  • Violet – This color represents identification and holds wishful, unrealistic desires of charm and enchantment.
  • Brown – This color relates to bodily senses and in addition, its placement in your preferences can indicate your body’s condition. For example, the higher in preference, the better the condition.
  • Grey – This color is neither light nor dark, so it represents non-involvement and concealment.
  • Black – This is the negation of color and therefore represents renunciation and the ultimate surrender of relinquishment.

Is the Lüscher color test valid?

Many have claimed this test to be a true representation of certain personality traits they possess. The scientific and psychological community however have been less inclined to recognize the validity of Lüscher’s claims. One of its criticisms include the idea that this test evokes the Barnum effect. This is the idea that the descriptions of the individual’s personality might seem tailored toward them but are in fact too generalized and vague to be accurate, much like a horoscope. Essentially, the results could apply to a wide range of individuals, and aren’t acceptable to true psychological study. However, Lüscher’s test has been praised by many who claim it revealed important truths about themselves.

In the end, its up to each person to decide whether they find the results of the Lüscher color test to be trustworthy as it applies to them. Regardless of whether some may believe in the accuracy of Max Lüscher’s theory of color, one can’t help but find it fascinating to consider. Although color is seen objectively, every person’s color preferences are subjective and based on variety of world experiences. To study these preferences and discuss how they make us beautifully unique is perhaps a step toward understanding each other. When we’re capable of that, we can assign appropriate jobs to the best individuals, can manage business conflict with positive results and possibly find solutions to make our office more productive than ever.