The Science Behind the 4 Colour Test: Exploring Personality Through Colors

The 4 Color Test, also known as the True Colors Personality Test, is based on psychological principles and theories that explore how individual differences in personality can be categorized into distinct color-coded types. While it’s not rooted in the same scientific rigor as some other personality assessments like the Big Five or Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, it still offers valuable insights into personality traits and behavioral tendencies.

Jung’s theory categorized individuals based on their preferences for perception (sensing or intuition) and judgment (thinking or feeling). Building upon Jung’s work, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) was developed, which further expanded on these personality types.

In the late 1980s, Andi Lothian developed the 4 Colour Test as a simplified and more accessible version of the MBTI. Lothian aimed to create a tool that could be easily understood and applied in various settings, from corporate boardrooms to classrooms. Drawing inspiration from Jung’s theory and the MBTI, the Insights Discovery system was born, categorizing individuals into four color-coded personality types.

Each color in the 4 Colour Test represents different behavioral characteristics and communication preferences. Individuals with a dominant Red personality are typically assertive, decisive, and action-oriented. They thrive in environments where they can take charge and make quick decisions. Blues, on the other hand, are analytical, detail-oriented, and structured. They prefer order and precision, and they excel in tasks that require careful planning and organization.

Greens are known for their supportive, empathetic, and harmonious nature. They value collaboration and strive to maintain peace and harmony in their relationships. Finally, Yellows are sociable, enthusiastic, and persuasive. They thrive on social interaction and enjoy being the center of attention.

Psychological Foundations

1. Temperament Theory

  • The 4 Color Test draws on temperament theory, which suggests that individuals exhibit consistent patterns of behavior and emotional responses.
  • This theory posits that there are four primary temperaments: choleric (Red), melancholic (Blue), phlegmatic (Green), and sanguine (Yellow).

2. Color Psychology

  • Color psychology explores how colors can influence human emotions, behaviors, and perceptions.
  • Each color in the 4 Color Test represents 4 colour test specific personality traits and tendencies, often associated with the psychological meanings attributed to those colors.

3. Jungian Theory

  • While not directly based on Carl Jung’s theories, the 4 Color Test shares similarities with Jungian typology, which suggests that individuals have dominant cognitive functions that shape their personalities.
  • The four colors can be loosely linked to Jung’s cognitive functions: Red (Thinking), Blue (Sensing), Green (Feeling), and Yellow (Intuition).

Assessment Methodology

The 4 Color Test typically involves participants answering a series of questions or scenarios designed to reveal their preferences, values, and behaviors. Based on their responses, individuals are then categorized into one of the four color types.

1. Questionnaire Design

  • Questions are often structured to assess various aspects of personality, such as communication style, decision-making preferences, and interpersonal interactions.
  • The test may include statements like “I prefer to work independently” or “I enjoy analyzing data in detail” to gauge individual tendencies.

2. Scoring and Interpretation

  • Scores are tallied based on responses to determine the dominant color type.
  • Interpretation involves analyzing the predominant traits associated with each color and how they manifest in an individual’s behavior.

Practical Applications

While the 4 Color Test may not have the same level of scientific validity as some other personality assessments, it still has practical applications in various contexts:

  1. Self-Reflection: Individuals can gain insights into their own strengths, weaknesses, and communication styles, fostering self-awareness and personal growth.
  2. Team Building: In organizational settings, understanding team members’ color preferences can facilitate better communication, collaboration, and conflict resolution.
  3. Leadership Development: Leaders can use knowledge of color types to tailor their leadership approaches, motivate team members, and build cohesive teams.
  4. Career Planning: The test results can inform career choices and development paths by highlighting areas where individuals may excel or face challenges.


While the 4 Color Test may not be as scientifically robust as some other personality assessments, it offers a user-friendly and accessible way to explore personality differences and enhance interpersonal dynamics. By understanding the psychological foundations and practical applications of the test, individuals and organizations can leverage its insights to foster personal and professional growth, improve team dynamics, and promote effective communication and collaboration.Each color in the 4 Colour Test represents different behavioral characteristics and communication preferences. Individuals with a dominant Red personality are typically assertive, decisive, and action-oriented.