Meaning of purple color in psychology


In this article, I'm going to talk about the significance of the color purple in psychology, culture, neuromarketing, and in movements like feminism.

Table of contents

Purple is an intense color resulting from the union of red and blue, and represents the conjunction of the strength of the former with the stillness of the latter.

This color, in fact, is the result of the mixture of two contrasting, almost opposite tones, a characteristic that gives it a multitude of meanings: it is the color of transformation, of mystery, of constant search, sometimes also of suffering. Depending on its tonalities, it can evoke different sensations, all subject to individual interpretation.

Jung defined purple, the color that is "between the human and the divine, the union of two natures".

With this article, we will discover together the meaning of the purple color in psychology.

Meaning of purple color in psychology

1. What does the color purple mean?

Purple is the meeting of two diametrically opposed colors, both for their physiological and psychological meaning.

The penetrating and active force of red is cushioned by the satisfying calm of blue.

Therefore, the stimulus is shown ambiguous. Purple can be thought of as a precision scale where one plate measures the sedative effect of blue on the parasympathetic, and the other plate measures each oscillation of red and its exciting action. Basically, purple shows awareness.

From a psychological point of view, the lilac color expresses delicacy, aesthetic sensitivity and magical thinking. Sexuality (red) fades and is transformed through blue into seduction, into an aesthetic dimension.

Purple represents the transition between the two opposite colors blue and red and the achievement of the harmony of these two produces what N. Cusano calls "coincidentia oppositorum" and the highest level corresponds to mystical intuition.

Also, Levy-Bruhl, in his anthropological studies on tribal religions, was able to verify that purple is the color of magical identification and mystical participation.

The shape of purple is that of a rhombus (penetrating aspects of red) with rounded sides (regressive and welcoming aspects of blue) that is distinguished by its harmony and balance.

2. Interpretations of the color purple

It has been seen that purple is the color preferred by people with hormonal and endocrine disorders, including women throughout pregnancy and lactation, included.

If purple is naturally preferred in girls, the exaggerated choice of this color in adulthood can indicate childishness, suggestiveness, seductive aspects, emotional lability and hypersensitivity.

The rejection of purple indicates a blockage of one's own sensitivity for fear of having to give up one's independence or for fear of exposing one's own Ego to greater vulnerability. The rejection of purple is often accompanied by a sensitive and egocentric attitude, little inclined to empathy, sensitivity and identification.

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3. The meaning of purple color in cultures

Culture also influences the meaning given to the color purple. Let's see the meaning of the color violet in each context:

  • What does the purple color mean in the spiritual? Purple is associated with mystery, mysticism, penance, the unconscious, secrecy, superstition, melancholy, death, fear, pity, frustration, fasting, fascination. , humility, sleep and magic.
  • In Christianity, the purple color is linked to repentance, atonement and recollection. Its primary colors, united in equal parts, represent wisdom and love, in fact, on old paintings of the Passion of Christ, the Savior has been represented with a violet mantle. It is also an ecclesial color that is used during the meditation period of Advent, which prepares for the feast of Christmas and Lent, the period of repentance before Easter.
  • In the East, purple is linked to vice and evil, particularly in Japan it evokes sin and fear and that is why its use in marriages is prohibited.
  • In Venezuela and Turkey, the color purple is associated with mourning.
  • Purple is the seventh Chakra energy center.
  • A sociological analysis shows that violet is one of the colors least appreciated by people.

4. The purple color in neuromarketing

Purple in neuromarketing evokes mystery, spirituality, vanity, fantasy, magic, wisdom, fashion, success and luxury, and for this reason it is used in the cosmetics sector, especially perfumes and fashion (in general for women), in the recreational sector, in the ecclesiastical sector, in the childhood and communication sector.

It is advisable to use it to paint the walls of environments where concentration and solitude are needed because it seems to help free oneself from anxiety and immerse oneself in oneself, which is why it is useful in the rooms of writers or students. For the same reason, it is inadvisable in living rooms, such as living rooms and kitchens.

In the professional field, it seems that it is the color that inspires respect and institutionality and therefore could be used for medical and legal studies. In addition, it seems to be ideal in the bedrooms of couples in crisis because it would help restore serenity and awaken desire.

5. The color purple in feminism

Red and blue are the colors of sexual difference: their mixture awakens in women a sense of emancipation and the desire not to be considered only in their feminine part, but as people in their entirety. Precisely for this reason, the color purple is effective in becoming a symbolic spokesperson for the instances of the feminist movement.

The color purple in feminism

This is where the term "purplewashing" is born: the prefix "purple" is associated with the belief in feminism, while the verb "wash" is used to denounce co-optation strategies that use minority rights to maintain or reinforce structural forms of discrimination.

In the context of feminism, it is used to describe a variety of political and marketing strategies to promote countries, people, companies, and other organizations through a call for gender equality.

The word is also used to criticize how Western countries that have not achieved full gender equality justify it by stressing that other countries or cultures still have a worse quality of life for women.


  • Cesarini Argiroffo, G. (2018). The meaning of colors: purple
  • Del Longo, N. (2011). The Lüscher color test. Diagnostic manual in developmental age.

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Disclaimer: This article is purely informative, I have no authority to make a diagnosis or recommend treatment. I invite you to visit a psychologist to treat your particular case.