Although color preference is an important aspect of human behavior, little is known about why people like some colors more than others. In this paper we probe this issue both theoretically and empirically. First, we discuss Hurlbert and Lings (2007) cone-contrast theory, which posits a physiological explanation based on opponent cone outputs and gender differences. We then present an ecological valence theory that color preferences reflect peoples cumulative emotional responses to environmental objects/events strongly associated with particular colors. Finally, we present data that challenge Hurlbert and Lings model on multiple counts and support an ecological valence approach.