The Influence Of Color On Warning Label Perceptions
Abbreviated Journal Title
Int. J. Ind. Ergon.
COLOR; SAFETY; CONSUMER PRODUCTS; LABELING; MEMORY; SEARCH; Engineering, Industrial; Ergonomics
Current standards and guidelines on warning design recommend pairing the colors red, orange, and yellow with the signal words DANGER, WARNING, and CAUTION, respectively. Much of the previous literature, however, has used achromatic stimuli to assess levels of hazard. Therefore, the major purpose of the present research was to determine whether consumer products presented in color differed in perceived hazard from those products presented achromatically. A sample of 33 participants rated 24 labels that varied across product class, signal word (DANGER, WARNING, and CAUTION), and chromaticity. A composite variable ''perceived hazardousness'' was formed from the averaged ratings from questions regarding likelihood of injury, hazardousness of the product, and carefulness in usage. Likewise, a composite variable ''perceived readability'' was formed from the averaged ratings concerning readability and saliency. Results showed that labels presented in color were perceived to be more hazardous and more readable than those presented in black-and-white. Adhesives were perceived to be more hazardous than general cleaners, bathroom cleaners, and automotive products. Differences in perceived readability may be explained by width-to-height ratios that varied across product classes. Implications for warning design are discussed.
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics
"The Influence Of Color On Warning Label Perceptions" (1995). Faculty Bibliography 1990s. 1291.