Colors have been used in psychological methods for quite some time now. A team of experts led by psychologist Jiří Šimonek has followed in the footsteps of ancient Chinese and Sumerian thinkers, the works of Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Max Planck and Dr. Max Lüscher. The newest studies of webs of neurons performed by Antonio Damasio in the USA contribute to the trustworthiness of our team's efforts.
In the 18th century Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1748 - 1832) produced major studies about colors. In his book "Theory of Colors" (original German title: "Zur Farbenlehre"- published 1810). Goethe states that not everything can be converted into mathematical quantities and that human experience is also important, which he demonstrates using colors. Goethe writes that we may measure the properties such as the frequency of the electromagnetic wave, which we see as blue or yellow color, but these numbers will hardly suggest to us why we always see blue as a darker color than yellow or why we see sunset as red, not green. In his masterpiece "Theory of Colors", Goethe produced his largest scientific work. To him, colors suggested an external reality. Goethe pointed out that when we look at the world through our senses, it also affects our inner feelings, our emotions. We can therefore measure the wavelength of the color, which our eye is looking at, but the force, emotion or impact of the color on our emotions has a much greater meaning.
Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck (1858 – 1947) described the "radiation law", which helped better understand the color radiation of bodies using physical quantities – frequency and radiation intensity. Psychologist Jiří Šimonek and his team started working with the supposition that one can precisely define colors and the borders of color spheres in the sensor. This means that the sensor does not work with typologically randomly selected colors but with an exactly measured portion of the color spectrum, which always produces the required association in a person.
Another important contribution to color-related research can be found in the works of Dr. Max Lüscher. Lüscher is a Swiss psychotherapist who remains highly regarded for his invention of the so-called Lüscher Color Test (Lüscher-Farbtest). This test works with color preference, which provides grounds for analyzing basic personal characteristics. Lüscher is well-known for his research, work as a teacher and his practice in psychotherapy in Basel, but he also received credit for his counselling work in an international company, where he applied this color theory. His book "Lüscher Color Test" (original German title: Lüscher-Farbtest. Persönlichkeitsbeurteilung durch Farbwahl. Rowohlt, Reinbek 1985, ISBN 3-498-03812-5) has been translated into over thirty languages. His dissertation, "Color as an aid in psychological diagnosis" (original German title: „Die Farbe als psychodiagnostisches Hilfsmittel") was accepted by respected professors of psychiatry, philosophy and psychology. Lüscher's color diagnostics is being taught in seven languages at universities in Denmark, Finland, Norway, Austria, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, United States (Yale, Boston), Chile, Peru, Argentina, Russia, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Czech Republic and Slovakia, to name a few. This is possible because of the transcultural properties of colors. His assumption was then additionally confirmed by most recent studies of the human brain, which registered extensive webs of neurons working on processing colors, time and space that are not dependent on the cultural environment in which the individual or the group lives.
Lüscher's biggest influence lies in the study of effects of colors on people concerning psychological and social aspects. His color-based psychology and counseling in various companies also left a large impact. Lüscher's lectures and seminars are renowned worldwide.
Antonio Damasio (1944) acquires his results by measuring on a neuronal basis, which is a purely physiological technique. The basic finding of Damasio's measuring of the emotional basis – conscious energetic basis – lies in the fact that the emotional base is "holistic" and contains as well as rational, physical and social elements of attitudes. Basically, our interactions are not only rational - it is necessary to take into account the other systems as well which cannot be measured using for example the questionnaire method.
This may be considered a parallel with the CA method (original Czech: OKAV - Object Communication Analysis of Consciousness), which evaluates the technique of color word association. This method does not only respect Damasio's argument but clearly requires that our consciousness be dealt with in the proposed manner.
The author of this method is Jiří Šimonek (1951) from the Czech Republic, who received his degree in psychology in 1977. Before he finished his studies, he worked in a pedagogic-psychological clinic center, where he continued to work after graduation.
After a year of army service he stared work in the state psychological clinic center, where he focused on children, their parents, schools and adults. He was also an active lecturer. From the very beginning he was interested in projective techniques and colors and he established the Lüscher color test in the Czech Republic (Czechoslovakia at that time), which he used mostly with children and youngsters. He strived for perfection and began to study colors, do research, assemble results, compare them and notice the differences and common features between them. At the time he was influenced by a seminar on the semantic differential, but it didn't satisfy him.
In his routine psychological practice, his aim was to hold man in its integrity (as a whole) which is one of the fundamental pillars of the color word association technique as we know it today. The diagnostic systems, which were used and promoted at the time seemed too simple and even misleading to Šimonek. His passion for complexity inspired him to connect words and colors into a single system. A contributing factor to this development was his interest in mathematics, statistics, physics and other exact sciences, which work with verifiable and qualified facts. Since his idea to connect colors and words, Šimonek has collected an extensive amount of data, which enabled the technique to take its current shape. The technique of color word association went through many stages from picking colors to picking colored cards and working with imaginary colors as well as using the three dimensional color spheres encircling a word. This is the layout we now use in our on-line sensor.