Date of Award

5-29-2011

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Human Factors & Systems

Department

Human Factors and Systems

Committee Chair

Jon French, Ph.D.

First Committee Member

Albert Bouquet, Ph.D.

Second Committee Member

Guy Smith, Ed.D.

Abstract

The focus of this study was to identify colors that can be easily distinguished from one another by normal color vision and slightly deficient color vision observers, and then test those colors to determine the significance of color separation as an indicator of color discriminability for both types of participants. There were 14 color normal and 9 color deficient individuals whose level of color deficiency were determined using standard diagnostic tests. The colors were selected by avoiding co-linearity in the color confusion line graphs for deuteranopes, protanopes and tritanopes. The difference between each of the colors was then calculated. The chosen colors were presented to the participants in a Color Vision Discrimination (CVD) test, first as color boxes and then as color text made up of three letters followed by three numbers.

A one-tailed Spearman's non-parametric Rank Order Correlation was conducted. The results indicated that the difference between two colors does not determine the ability of a color normal observer to distinguish between two colors given that the color is presented as a color block ( rs = -.260, p = .234), but does determine their ability when presented as color text (rs = -.644, p = .001). When it comes to color deficient individuals, the results show that for color blocks (rs = -.558, p = .015) and color text (rs = -.505, p = .002) their ability to distinguish between the candidate colors depends on the separation between the colors. Colors were selected on the basis that they were not confused with any other color. Those colors found to be most easily distinguished will be useful in many different applications such as web site design, Internet displays of all types, and various other military and industrial applications.

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