This sounds like a bad joke about Post-It™ Notes.
That aside, I guess it would make a little sense. Yellow in nature is a warning to other creatures to stay away. I suppose there may be a link between seeing yellow and the "lizard" brain which could trigger memory about whatever was ON the yellow paper...
-------------------- It can't rain all the time. Posts: 1102 | From: Iowa | Registered: Oct 2004
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I've read in various places that black print on yellow is the most, er, attention grabbing (clear?) combination of colors. It could be a theory along the lines that if it grabs your attention the most it'll help your memory that way. Probably not significantly though, if true.
-------------------- Bender: Though you may have to make a metaphorical "deal with the devil". And by "devil", I mean the robot devil, and by "metaphorically" I mean get your coat. ------------ My sad site: A new way to be bored. Posts: 722 | From: Colorado | Registered: Mar 2004
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Actually, during my college days I preferred notebooks with bad greyish-yellowish paper over nice white ones - I found them more comfortable to use.
Posts: 246 | From: Toronto, ON / Kyiv, Ukraine | Registered: Jul 2005
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quote:Originally posted by Tantei Kabocha: I've read in various places that black print on yellow is the most, er, attention grabbing (clear?) combination of colors. It could be a theory along the lines that if it grabs your attention the most it'll help your memory that way. Probably not significantly though, if true.
A psychologist friend of mine once told me a long time ago (well before 3M made a killing on Post-It notes) that it was red ink on yellow paper which was the most striking combination.
I don't know about yellow paper improving memory, but there is evidencecolored overlays can improve reading in LD or dyslexic children. I have students who read better and comprehend better using overlays, and the color that "works" varies from child to child. This increase in comprehension could be misconstrued as an increase in memory, because the child can answer questions about what they read better when they use the overlays.
ETA: Here is a better site. I don't know much about the disorder on the first page. I just know overlays work. I've gone so far as to tape them to the computer monitor for some kids, and have seen drastic improvements in reading scores as a result.
I've been reticent to get into this thread because I don't expect anyone to think of these things as clinically as I do. However, since this is my field of "expertise", I will offer my opinion.
The best evidence that I'm aware of shows that blue overlays improve reading comprehension for all readers, not just for those with reading disabilities. (This study did not use yellow overlays, only red and blue.) Other studies have also concluded that what helps the student is any novel stimulus, especially those that cover the part of the reading exercise to be done. This works for all students, not only those with dyslexia or other learning difficulties.*
I have not searched but I'm not aware of any documented effect of yellow paper on memory. There has been some study of the relationship of certain colored texts and colored backgrounds (including yellow) to specific emotional responses or memory in general. I don't think yellow was any more or less effective than other colors. In general, novel stimuli are going to be more memorable so if you use yellow paper all the time, I doubt it would be effective. Yellow is certainly different from other colors in terms of visibility (for example, most black ink on most red papers would certainly be less visible than black ink on most yellow papers) so that may also influence any study of the matter.
My opinion is that yellow paper does not influence memory but that novel paper colors with good visiblity may do so, at least until you are used to using that particular color.
*ETA Please read the note about "Meares-Irlen Syndrome" at the end of this Wikipedia article to see what many visual scientists think about the use of color overlays: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scotopic_Sensitivity_Syndrome *ETA2 (Revenge of the ETA) This newer research (PDF link) does support the Meares-Irlen Syndrome hypothesis and the use of color overlays. (Still different from dyslexia or LD but often confused or interrelated, according to proponents.)
Posts: 4922 | From: Kyoto, Japan | Registered: Sep 2005
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