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Sunday, May 9, 2021

This is why your children — and you — probably wear bright-colored nail polish

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Is it normal for teenagers to color their fingernails purple? Maybe for some, but many would find the most common color choice from hair to color — violet — too bright.

This penchant for intense color is largely driven by personal preference. Some scientists think it’s an early sign of personality. Chris Shellenburger, a psychiatrist at University of California, Berkeley, started doing research on purple-related emotions and behaviors when his children were young. He turned to Facebook, looking for responses to his question: “Do you think you’re more cautious around people who wear purple?”

From 2014 to 2016, he surveyed nearly 2,000 parents about their children’s mental health and conduct and safety. Some of the participants saw their daughters or sons as more easygoing, flexible or less likely to cheat than if they were wearing purple fingernails. Other parents said they saw purple as signifying positivity, brilliance, kindness and confidence. “It was found that everyone responded in a very similar way, which was surprising,” Dr. Shellenburger said.

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