From the archive: a colourful personality test, 1970

Six well-known public figures take the colour test. Who chose calming blue?

The Observer Magazine of 8 March 1970 had a bit of fun with a colour test developed by the psychologist Dr Max Lüscher that supposedly revealed personality and character traits (‘Showing your true colours’), despite his stern warning that ‘it is not a parlour game or a horoscope’.

Robert Shields, the Observer’s psychology correspondent, assessed the test and presented a simplified version to try out for yourself. There were eight coloured cards to rank in order of preference. Mine were violet, red, dark blue, green, brown, black, yellow, and grey. I was delighted to find that violet is ‘popular among pre-adolescents, emotionally immature adults and homosexuals’ and showed one’s modus operandi, but the second choice shows what one’s objective really is – for red, ‘excitability, sexual desire, the will to win and the urge to dominate others’. Nailed it.

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