Psychology: Red enhances human performance in contests

  title={Psychology: Red enhances human performance in contests},
  author={Russell A. Hill and Robert A. Barton},
Red coloration is a sexually selected, testosterone-dependent signal of male quality in a variety of animals, and in some non-human species a male's dominance can be experimentally increased by attaching artificial red stimuli. Here we show that a similar effect can influence the outcome of physical contests in humans — across a range of sports, we find that wearing red is consistently associated with a higher probability of winning. These results indicate not only that sexual selection may… 
Redness Enhances Perceived Aggression, Dominance and Attractiveness in Men's Faces
Female participants are allowed to manipulate the CIELab a* value of skin to maximize the perceived aggression, dominance and attractiveness of photographs of men's faces, suggesting that facial redness is perceived as conveying similar information about a male's qualities in humans as it does in non-human species.
Romantic red: red enhances men's attraction to women.
Red, relative to other achromatic and chromatic colors, leads men to view women as more attractive and more sexually desirable, and men seem unaware of this red effect, and red does not influence women's perceptions of the attractiveness of other women, nor men's perception of women's overall likeability, kindness, or intelligence.
Red Signals Dominance in Male Rhesus Macaques
An experiment on a species of monkey that has humanlike color vision: the rhesus macaque found that male macaques would be expected to respond submissively to red coloration when given the opportunity to steal food from a human.
The influence of red colouration on human perception of aggression and dominance in neutral settings
For both humans and nonhuman species, there is evidence that red colouration signals both emotional states (arousal/anger) and biological traits (dominance, health, and testosterone). The presence
Competitors Who Choose to Be Red Have Higher Testosterone Levels
This hypothesis that red coloration can act as a reliable signal of an individual’s competitive quality, via high testosterone levels, is investigated by testing the association between testosterone levels and the color individuals chose to represent themselves in competition and predicted that those who chose red would have higher testosterone levels than wouldThose who chose another color.
Red, rank, and romance in women viewing men.
It is demonstrated that women perceive men to be more attractive and sexually desirable when seen on a red background and in red clothing, and it is shown that status perceptions are responsible for this red effect.
It is shown that red is seen as more likely to win in physical competitions, more aggressive and more dominant then blue, and that darker contrast, through a potential link to testosterone signalling, could also act as a signal of dominance.
Revisiting the effect of red on competition in humans
It is shown that the results do not replicate in an equivalent, independent dataset for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and that there is substantial variation in the fraction of wins by red across sports in both years.
Human colour in mate choice and competition
This review describes the theoretical and empirical frameworks in which human colour is researched and presents best-practice guidelines for methods and reporting, which it hopes will improve the validity and reproducibility of studies on human coloration.
Is red an innate or learned signal of aggression and intimidation?
Red coloration has been associated with dominance and aggression in a number of animals. However, it is unclear whether the increased aggression of red individuals or the avoidance of red opponents


Evidence from rhesus macaques suggests that male coloration plays a role in female primate mate choice
  • C. Waitt, A. Little, +4 authors D. Perrett
  • Biology, Medicine
    Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences
  • 2003
It is proposed that male coloration might provide a cue to male quality and is experimentally investigated whether red male facial coloration is preferred by simultaneously presenting female rhesus macaques with computer-manipulated pale and red versions of 24 different male faces.
Multiple Receivers, Multiple Ornaments, and a Trade‐off between Agonistic and Epigamic Signaling in a Widowbird
It is proposed that the “multiple receiver hypothesis” can explain the coexistence of multiple handicap signals, and the trade‐off between signal expressions might contribute to the inverse relation between nuptial tail elongation and coloration in the genus Euplectes (bishops and widowbirds).
Female sticklebacks use male coloration in mate choice and hence avoid parasitized males
It is shown that in the three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) the intensity of male red breeding coloration positively correlates with physical condition, and the females recognize the formerly parasitized males by the lower intensity of theirbreeding coloration.
Carotenoid status signaling in captive and wild red-collared widowbirds: independent effects of badge size and color
Redness and, to a lesser extent, size of the carotenoid ornament both seem to independently indicate male dominance status or fighting ability in male contest competition.
Dominance, Status Signals and Coloration in Male Mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx)
Where individuals contest access to a resource, escalated physical fighting presents a risk to all involved. The requirement for mechanisms of conflict management has led to the evolution of a
Colour bands, dominance, and body mass regulation in male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata)
Two experiments are presented which demonstrate significant effects of band colour on behavioural dominance (red bands are more dominant than light green bands) and the resulting diurnal pattern of gain in mass, fat, and seeds stored in the crop and the results are consistent with the literature on dominance and strategic regulation of body mass in other species.
The ethological proceeding applied to the little Human leads to comparable conclusions, opening perhaps, experimental era of psychology of the Unconscious, and a psychopathological fact about little chimpanzees in maternal deficiency.
Correlates of facial flushing and pallor in anger-provoking situations
The face usually flushes with rage but can also become pallid during seemingly similar emotional experiences. To investigate this paradox, 200 respondents rated their expected facial colour and the
The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals
The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals Introduction to the First Edition and Discussion Index, by Phillip Prodger and Paul Ekman.
The effect of expressing anger on cardiovascular reactivity and facial blood flow in Chinese and Caucasians.
It is suggested that an increase in facial blood flow reduces peripheral vascular resistance during anger expression, and that baroreflexes attenuate increases in heart rate and blood pressure.