Back to the USSR : How colors might shape the political perception of East vs. West

Faculty/Professorship: General Psychology and Methodology  
Author(s): Gebauer, Fabian; Raab, Marius  ; Carbon, Claus-Christian  
Title of the Journal: i-Perception
ISSN: 2041-6695
Publisher Information: London : Pion
Year of publication: 2016
Volume: 7
Issue: 6
Pages: 5
Language(s): English
DOI: 10.1177/2041669516676823
People typically process information to confirm their prior held attitudes and stereotypes. As the political relations between NATO and Russia have distinctively drifted apart in recent years, we were interested in how far old-established color depictions referring to the Cold War’s demarcations (USSR = red; NATO = blue) might reinforce people’s political perception of an East versus West antagonism nowadays. Participants received a fabricated news article in which both world powers were either depicted on a map as Russia = red and NATO = blue or vice versa (Study 1). Testing a different sample in Study 2, we fully removed color assignments and used hachured distinctions or no distinctions at all. We revealed that perceived political distance between both sides increased particularly for participants with negative attitudes toward Russia, but only when Russia was depicted in red. Thus, colors referring to the old-established Cold War patterns can indeed shape the political perception and reinforce stereotypical East versus West thinking.
Keywords: political perception, colors, Ukraine Crisis, stereotypes, information processing
Peer Reviewed: Ja
International Distribution: Ja
Open Access Journal: Ja
Type: Article
Release Date: 10. October 2022
Project: Open-Access-Publikationsfonds 2012-2020