Depressive tendency of design major freshman students explored through the use of color in mosaic creations

Fong-Gong Wu, Eva Chang, Chien-Hsu Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Depression is affecting a growing number of people, while the age of its first occurrence continues to lower; there is a rapid increase in youths with depression. Many therapies use art as a tool; the process of creation allows the therapist to understand the thoughts and feelings of depression patients. This study quantifies the color usage principles and abstract feelings from the perspective of the artist, and further considers whether there are differences in color cognition between those with or without depressive tendencies. The participants were 120 college freshman design students, and the CES-D was used to test the subjects' degree of depression. Afterwards, the subjects were asked to participate in creating a mosaic with the theme "different selves," and to offer their own explanation of the principles and feelings related to the use of color in the creative work. One-third of the 120 subjects had depressive tendencies. The results showed a correlation between depressive tendency and the use of color in the "different selves" mosaic, with subjects having depressive tendencies showing a greater use of dark colors. Those subjects with no depressive tendencies were more likely to use "cool colors" to represent depression, while those subjects with depressive tendencies more often used "dark colors" to express depression. This study found that there is a correlation between the presence of depressive tendency and this specific use of color among freshman design students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-190
Number of pages6
JournalArts in Psychotherapy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Sep 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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