science | April 21, 2013

Drunk Tank Pink: Adam Alter Sees The Color As An "Emblem" For His Book

Science speaker Adam Alter says Drunk Tank Pink (the name of his new book) is the same hue as "the worst antibiotic you had to take as a kid." This "bright pinkish, sickening color," seems to have powerfully positive impacts on those exposed to it. In fact, it has been shown that this particular color has a widespread calming effect. In one of his keynotes, Alter discusses the history of this color and why he chose to name his book after it.

"It's an emblem, I think, for a lot of the effects I talk about in the book," Alter explains to the audience in his talk. "It arose out of nowhere," he continues, "people couldn't believe that something so innocuous as a color could have such powerful effects, and yet it seems to have those effects." Gaining traction in the 1960s, the color proved effective in calming disruptive students, violent prison inmates, and even took some of the spark out of rowdy football players. Multiple tests all came to the same conclusion: The color had systematic effects on human behavior.

The impact of this color—and other forces in the world around us—on the way we think, feel, and act is explored in depth in Alter's book and speeches. Currently the Assistant Professor of Marketing and Psychology at NYU’s Stern School of Business and Psychology Department, Alter analyzes the way judgment, behavior, and decision-making intersects with behavioral economics and marketing. His research is both fun to read, and practical in application. When we discover what external forces are driving the things we do, we can then adjust to live happier, healthier, and more productive lives.