Researchers found the color of a package and a pill makes a difference in how it works. In one study, every patient was given the exact same sedative, but some patients received it in a blue pill and others in an orange pill. The blue pill takers reported falling asleep 30 minutes faster, and sleeping 30 minutes longer, than the orange pill takers.
You likely know that you can give a person with a headache a Tic
Tac, say it is medicine, and it may eliminate a headache just like
an aspirin would, for reasons science doesn't completely
understand. This phenomenon is also affected by color. In other
words, how you perceive effectiveness affects effectiveness and
Subjects, in another study were told they would get a sedative or
a stimulant, when they were actually getting placebos. Sixty six
percent of the subjects who took blue pills reported feeling less
alert, compared to only twenty six percent of those who took pink
pills. It is because we have been conditioned to think that blue
In yet another study, when researchers put various fake medicine
packages in front of subjects, the subjects picked certain colors
of boxes over others. Warm colors like brown and red were
perceived as more potent, especially if the shades were darker.
This is why heart medicines are often red and brown, while skin
medicines are yellow, and sleeping pills are often blue.
Painkillers are most often white. All carefully chosen to match
The majority of fast food chains have red and yellow or orange in
their logo, because these are stimulating colors. Lowfat
containers, more often than not have blue on the package.
Color associations are also cultural. In America blue is a calming
and peaceful color, but in Italy it is associated with the
national soccer team. Researchers found that, rather than making
him drowsy, a blue pill might send an Italian singing into the