Color Validation

Color Validation

Color psychology has been around for centuries and widely known as the study of hues as a determinant of human behavior. Color influences perceptions that are not obvious, such as the taste of food, danger and security.

Color psychology is mostly used in marketing and branding globally. Marketers use color to influence a consumers' emotions and perceptions about goods and services.

A classic example is red - whose attributes include increases in hunger, thus why most fast food chains (McDonalds, Burger King etc.) have red in their branding. The other prominent in Fast Food chains is Yellow which influences the perception of Inexpensiveness and Happiness, so their logos give the perception of food that is inexpensive.

Why do most Banks branding include blue, well, blue happens to be the color of most police uniforms and vehicles which is supposedly reliability and safety.

Most organic food brands include green as it represents the earth and influences Eco-Friendly and Health.

The Psychometrics behind TokuOra

The Color Assessment was derived from a large-scale validation study using a base sample of over 770,000 people that focused on respondents who actually enjoy their current careers.

The Color Assessment represents 16+ years of cumulative research and development, including a series of validation studies and journal publications / white papers (Lange & Rentfrow, 2007; Lange, 2010). Our artificial intelligence and with our Machine Learning, our Assessment has increased accuracy and reliability.

TokuOra uses the ‘O’Net’ Standard Occupation Codes (SOC) and has developed software that assists WorkForce, Students, Veterans, Parolees etc. career planning and reduces the stress they experience during that planning phase.

A key part of the TokuOra strategy is to start the career exploration conversation in a very quick and easy way, and then to dive in deeper over time. We do this is by using psychometrics to identify personality characteristics which tend to be common in various careers. By helping users better understand their own personality as well as careers that other people with similar personalities have chosen, they can reduce their initial exploration to a manageable set and feel more confident about their decision-making process.

There are many ways to develop a psychology profile of an individual. Some are quite complex and time consuming. Some are rather quick and easy. Some require the test subject to have already undergone a great deal of self-exploration, as well as exploration of alternative life choices. Others require no prior self-discovery. No test is 100% accurate, all have some measure of variation.

We could use multiple psychometric tests to help the users better understand themselves, as well as better understand choices of people like them. However, few users have the self-awareness to answer batteries of career planning questions often given to experienced workers seeking new jobs. As a result, even though such instruments might give better predictive results across an older population, their results are generally poorer for student populations, who lack the self-awareness the tests generally rely on. Students taking such detailed planning tests recognize their difficulty in answering question and get more frustrated and stressed - the opposite of our objective, so we do not begin with such tests.

Instead, we favor starting career exploration with very simple psychometric matching tests that students find fun and non-stressful, which can give substantial self-insight and guidance that leads to self-confidence throughout the college and career planning process.

The Science behind the Color Test

Using data from a study by Stephen E. Palmer and Karen Schloss of UC Berkeley called ‘An ecological valence theory of human Color Preference’ ( , then taking a sample from 772,000 people who were matched to 27 Career Categories. For each category, we indicated which personal “attributes” are SPECIFICALLY listed as uniquely correlated with only that category.  Also assessed any unique combinations of attributes correlated with only that category.  Attributes may include interests, work habits and styles, activity preferences, preferred problem-solving strategies, motivations, habits, and other psychological characteristics. 

Toward this goal we have developed the Color Test as the entry point to our services. Because we develop custom integrations, we can work with clients such as DOL, DOD, DOE, DOJ to also integrate additional psychometric testing instruments of their clients in career exploration. 

We are building on this work, focusing on teens making college and career plans. We focus on more broad areas as we do not anticipate our students to be making job specific decisions at this time, and a smaller group of suggested careers to initially explore reduces the stress students face from over choices in the face of insufficient information.

Future Bayesian Modeling

Right now we are in the first phase of our development of our career planning services for users, but we intend to build a longitudinal system in which we collect feedback from students over several years, seeing how they feel about the recommendations they were given, which they found most helpful and which least helpful, as well as major, college and career choices presented to them, and those they actually chose. This may be understood as analogous to the kind of modeling Netflix uses with its “viewers like you enjoyed” recommendations.

We will use student’s feedback in refining a Bayesian prediction model for each color type, as well as for results from other psychometric instruments we use, as well as any other test scores they provide us. The goal of this future stage is to continuously refine and adjust our recommendations to students based upon the experiences of students like them in previous graduation years.

Reference Material - Selected papers (English only)