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"Drunk Tank Pink" Tells How Color Can Be Calming

Look at this color. How does it make you feel?

a) Powerful
b) Sluggish
c) Agitated

Answer: If science is to be believed, you should have chosen "B." A 1979 study by psychiatrist Alexander Schauss found that the color had a tranquilizing effect. In the new book Drunk Tank Pink, professor Adam Alter of New York University's Stern School of Business examines the psychological cues that guide behavior, such as the use of the color in jails to calm the unruly inebriated.

A version of this article appeared in the March 2013 issue of Fast Company magazine.

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