Effect of Color on Memory Performance in Wayfinding Abilities

DALIRNAGHADEH DONYA – Turkey, Bilkent University

With the importance of color in memory performance, the current study tries to determine the effect of different hues and saturations on memory and further applying those colors to landmarks in the interior space while analyzing wayfinding performance. Current available literature discusses the difference between memorability of colored and non-colored test objects with only a few studies focusing on different colors hues. In that sense, the first question that the study tries to answer is which color hues and which saturations enhance memory performance. In order to answer this question participants would be asked to remember individual hues in a set of circles or squares and after a short break asked to find that hue on a hue circle. The second stage of the study would try to look at the effect of color on memory performance in the interior space as a function of wayfinding abilities. The research question would be if the colors found as memorable in the first stage would contribute to a more efficient wayfinding performance. In order to analyze this, the participants’ visuospatial and verbal working memory capacity would be assessed with Corsi Block and the Digit Span task. Based on the memory capacity of the participants, a high and a low performance group would be created. Furthermore, different routes that are comparable in length with different abstract or structural landmarks would be created and recorded as videos. The landmarks would either be colored to the hues analyzed in the first stage or no color condition. After viewing the video, the participants would be asked to complete a set of tasks; the first would be providing a sketch of the route and then giving an address to a fictitious participant. The second task would be choosing between a pair of pictures of the landmarks visited in the video (one picture with the real color and the other a modified color. A location task could also be performed by asking the participants to position the landmark on the map. By these tests, it can be identified if there is in fact a difference between the use of color in memory performance in the interior space and if there is if the results obtained in the first stage hold true when applied to landmarks.