Thursday, 23 June 2005

Wear red to win?

Being very behind the times on this, but I noticed some publicity following articles in Nature, National Geographic (which also mentions red conferring a mating advantage for monkeys, from research by Cambridge University primatologist Joanna Setchell) and Livescience about a month ago on research by Russell Hill and Robert Barton of the University of Durham (UK).

They analysed combat events in the last Olympics where contestants were randomly assigned red or blue outfits, and the Euro 2004 soccer tournament. Those wearing red won 55% of the competitions (or 60% where bouts were evenly matched) in the Olympics case, or tended to perform better when wearing red than when they were not, in the case of the soccer. The "red edge" was found to be statistically significant.

Wearing red didn't however help if there was a big difference in skill but gave the edge if the two were otherwise of a similar level.

Possibly this is because "red seems to be the color, across species, that signals male dominance and testosterone levels".

A couple of the articles (including one in the Financial Times) pointed out that some consistently successful English football teams wear red: Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United.

Who knows, but every little thing helps, so it looks like I ought to be changing my wardrobe, at least when I play sport!

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TaB said...

One of our local newspapers picked up on this story (read: stole it and changed the words) and splashed and old Kenny D LFC picture (ah the good ole days) to solidify the findings. Green being the colour of genius im lead to believe colour isn’t as complex as we like to think, but that never stopped my buying red boots for red’s other luring lollypop. Appreciate that nature link!

RedRyder said...

"red seems to be the color, across species, that signals male dominance and testosterone levels"

Why do I like that statment so much....hmmm.

Improbulus said...

Hey Tab. Yeah red boots, fun! I go for black, m'self..

RedRyder - nooooooo, I'd never have guessed. G'wan. Surprise me. :-D