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Effect of color on memoryFeatured science projectScience project video


This science fair project was performed to ascertain if memory retention can be improved by coloring pictures. The science project experiment involved participants who were shown flash cards that were colored red, yellow, blue and green.


Coloring flash cards will not help to improve memory retention and recall.

Scientific Terms

Psychology, memory retention, short term memory, long term memory



The memory is the ability of a person to remember or memorize information and being able to recall back the information when needed. Memories can be either short or long term. Short term memories are for things like the color of the shirt we wore to work two days ago or the name of the person we were introduced to last week. These are things that are not repetitive and have minimal importance to us. Long term memories include memories from our childhood, or our job skills. These things are of significant importance to us and are repetitive either currently or sometime ago in the past.

Psychologists have found that natural colored pictures or photos are able to enhance the ability of a person to remember the details of the photo. However, when their experiments were repeated using black and white photos, memory retention fell. Similarly when the experiments were performed using pictures that were colored with false, unnatural colors, the results did not differ much from the experiments conducted with black and white photos. Therefore we can conclude that it is the natural colors that help us to remember better, not the colors themselves.

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Complexity level:
Project cost ($):
Time required:
1 hour to prepare, 2 hours for the science project experiment
Material availability:
Easily found
Safety concerns:

Basic safety requirements