Christy’s Color > Grapheme Insanity Special

About a year ago, I found an honest-to-gawd really good personality test online. (Unfortunately, it’s an app on Facebook called “My Personality”. Yes, I can hear my credibility swirling down the drain, thank you.)

While I was taking one part of the initial test, I was asked a question about Synesthesia, which at the time I knew nothing about. (I guessed and got the question right. SCORE!) But in the explanation of the correct answer I noticed that it referred to people who associate graphemes (letters, numbers and symbols) with colors.

“Doesn’t everyone do that??” I thought, and realized NO! Not everyone does that.

I have done this my ENTIRE life, ever since I can remember. Not only do I have involuntary color association to letters and numbers, but also to days of the week, months of the year and PEOPLE.

I started doing A LOT of research online into it and there’s actually not much research to be found. It was “the thing” to study back in the early 1900’s but it kind of fell out of favor because there wasn’t a scientific way of measuring the degree to which a person experiences Synesthesia.

ALSO, not only is there color association, but Synesthesia can manifest and associate with any sense, including taste, touch, smell and vision. Some people associate tastes with words, so that if you (or they) say the word “blue”, it may taste like coffee or butterscotch or soap.

Personally, I “see” letters, numbers, days and months in very specific colors in my head when I think about them. It’s almost as if I’m conjuring them up in my mind. I can’t change their colors, even though most of them aren’t my favorite colors or even colors I’d decorate a room with. It’s completely involuntary. To me, “A” is red. Someone else’s “A” might be green, which is fine, but it’s WRONG in my head.

Synesthesia Battery Graphemes

They should really know better than to do this at the bottom of their page because most of these are just WRONG and it makes my brain hurt.

Also, my colors are very specific and so sometimes are hard to describe. One of the first questions I usually get is “What color am I??” to which I reply “Well, you’re yellow, but not banana yellow. More like sunflower yellow but a little paler.” which is kind of insane in its specificity.

I found a test online to measure the degree to which you can pick the same colors for the same letters, numbers, days and months. It lets you pick a color to THIS FREAKING DEGREE OF SPECIFICITY…

Color Picker

Drill it down, baby. Drill it way down.

…and it randomizes the letters and numbers all together so that you pick a color for each one three times, but never in sequential order.

They explain the scoring as follows;

In this battery, a score below 1.0 is ranked as synesthetic. Non-synethetes asked to use memory or free association typically score in the range of a 2.0. A perfect score of 0.0 would mean that there was no difference in the colors selected on each successive presentation of the same letter.

Here are my actual test results, ugly colors and all.

Grapheme Color Test Results

Booyah!

The colors that are displayed are the ACTUAL values I picked for each letter each time it was displayed. Some of them (E, W & Y) I’m obviously indifferent on. Further…

Weekday Color Test

Weekday Colors

and

Month Color Test

Month Colors

As for people, well, let’s pick on Natalie, Diana and Jim, shall we?

Natalie Color

Natalie in my head

Diana Color

Diana in my head

Jim Color

Jim in my head

I haven’t found many people that do this. My friend Angela in Australia does it to the same extent I do (and is arguably nuttier than I am). If you also do this, please leave a comment and let me know!

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13 Responses to Christy’s Color > Grapheme Insanity Special

  1. Acadia says:

    1: Please link me to the test.

    2: You are obviously a witch.

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  2. Anonymously Blue says:

    I’m blue-ish…

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  3. Tom says:

    Unreal. It’s always been more about numbers and shapes for me, than colours. I can honestly say that i have never thought of colours in association with people, numbers or letters. Freak. 😉

    Impressive, though.

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    • tgnp says:

      Shapes association is another form of it. Apparently some people even “see” shapes fall out of people’s mouths when they talk!

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  4. Diana says:

    I have one other friend, in Washington, that I KNOW does this. It’s really quite fascinating!

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  5. Guill says:

    Do you have a Facebook page or Twitter? Would love to follow you there, I’m on my iPhone and love reading your stuff!

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    • tgnp says:

      I am on Twitter and Google+! You can follow me at @kchiki. My Google+ link is in the sidebar on the right.

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  6. Lauren says:

    I have that too! Although I associate genders to numbers and I have sight->sensation of touch synesthesia. When I see pain or something that should be painful, my body rates it and then I get tingly feelings on different parts of my body.

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    • tgnp says:

      Lauren, I do the same thing for the sight->touch sensation. That’s a good way of putting it, because it’s hard to describe. I think it goes along with the sound/startle->touch sensation for me.

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  7. “Love can sometimes be magic. But magic can sometimes… just be an illusion.” ~ Javan

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  8. Salesy McSalesperson says:

    I love your wp theme, where did you obtain it through?

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