The use of color as a coding device has been limited in some important applications because a practical maximum of only about 15 absolutely identifiable colors have been found experimentally. This investigation was undertaken to determine whether or not substantial improvement in color identification could be obtained as a result of extended practice. One subject practiced on Munsell color chips for about five months. Performance improved continuously, and at the end of the practice period the subject was able to identify 50 colors with almost perfect accuracy. However, errors increased markedly during three months of no practice immediately following the training period.

© 1959 Optical Society of America

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  1. R. M. Halsey and A. Chapanis, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 41, 1057 (1951).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  2. Newhall, Burnham, and Clark, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 47, 43–56 (1957).

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Figures (3)

F. 1
F. 1

Fifty-chip set selected by the observer for 100% accuracy.

F. 2
F. 2

Weighted percent error as a function of practice. Figures in parentheses indicate the number of different color chips used in the respective tests. The total number of responses on which each point is based varies from about 100 to 300. The curved lines through the various points are only approximate fits obtained by visual estimate.

F. 3
F. 3

Mean values and chromas (arrow heads) in study period I identified as the color chips represented by the tails of the arrows.

Tables (1)

Tables Icon

Table I Percent hue error for the various parts of the experiment.