“First the researchers asked subjects to look at a colour wheel made up of 180 different hues, and to find the ‘best’ examples of blue, pink, green, purple, orange, and yellow.
Next they conducted a memory experiment with a different group of participants. These participants were shown a coloured square for one-tenth of a second.
They were asked to try to remember it, looking at a blank screen for a little less than 1 second, and then asked to find the colour on the colour wheel featuring the 180 hues.
When attempting to match hues, all subjects tended to err on the side of the basic, ‘best’ colours, but the bias toward the archetypes amplified considerably when subjects had to remember the hue, even for less than a second.