Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

High-testosterone competitors more likely to choose red

Date:
May 16, 2013
Source:
Association for Psychological Science
Summary:
Why do so many sports players and athletes choose to wear the color red when they compete? A new study suggests that it may have to do with their testosterone levels.

Why do so many sports players and athletes choose to wear the color red when they compete?
Credit: auremar / Fotolia

Why do so many sports players and athletes choose to wear the color red when they compete? A new study to be published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, suggests that it may have to do with their testosterone levels.

The new study, conducted by psychological scientist Daniel Farrelly of the University of Sunderland and colleagues, demonstrated that males who chose red as their color in a competitive task had higher testosterone levels than other males who chose blue.

"The research shows that there is something special about the color red in competition, and that it is associated with our underlying biological systems," says Farrelly.

The researchers believe that the link may explain why many sports stars wear red clothing -- Tiger Woods, for example, famously chooses to wear a red shirt on the last day of a major competition.

Choosing to wear red "may, unconsciously, signal something about their competitive nature, and it may well be something that affects how their opponents respond," Farrelly explains.

Farrelly and colleagues recruited 73 men to participate in the study, and they were unaware of the study's aims. The men were told that they would be performing a competitive task and that their performances would be placed on a leaderboard. The participants then chose either a red or blue symbol to represent them in the table and completed the competitive tasks. They also answered questionnaires aimed at gauging whether various personal reasons may have affected their color choice.

To determine participants' testosterone levels, the researchers took saliva samples at the start of the study, before the participants knew about the competitive task, and again at the end.

The data revealed that men who chose red had higher baseline testosterone levels, and they rated their color as having higher levels of characteristics such as dominance and aggression, than men who chose blue.

Color choice did not, however, seem to be related to actual performance in the competitive task. The researchers believe that direct competition, in which opponents can be seen wearing red or appearing red, may be necessary for the red advantage to occur. Along these lines, previous research has shown that wearing red can be advantageous through its influence on opponents' perceptions, leading them to view red competitors as being "high quality" competitors.

Co-authors on the research include Rebecca Slater of the University of Sunderland, Hannah Elliott and Hannah Walden of Newcastle University, and Mark Wetherell of Northumbria University.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Association for Psychological Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Daniel Farrelly et al. Competitors who choose to be red have higher testosterone levels. Psychological Science, 2013

Cite This Page:

Association for Psychological Science. "High-testosterone competitors more likely to choose red." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130516105655.htm>.
Association for Psychological Science. (2013, May 16). High-testosterone competitors more likely to choose red. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130516105655.htm
Association for Psychological Science. "High-testosterone competitors more likely to choose red." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130516105655.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Researchers say women who diet at a young age are at greater risk of developing harmful health habits, including eating disorders and alcohol abuse. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins