Red Enhances Performance in Contests

The red coloration is well established as a sexually selected, testosterone dependent signal of male quality in a variety of animals. However, its relation concerning humans has not been assessed until now.

A recent study evaluated the relation of the color red with performances in various human sports during the Olympic Games. The researchers studied the outcomes of four sports, namely boxing, tae kwon do, Greco-roman wrestling, and freestyle wrestling. The contests were randomly assigned a color red or blue in the competition.

It was found that the contestant wearing red came out as the winner more often. The results were even more prominent for the number of rounds won by participants wearing the color red.

The same results were achieved after a preliminary analysis of the Euro 2004 International Soccer tournament. In this game, the teams wore different colors. It was observed that the team wearing the color red won more often than can be explained normally. However, the advantage is evident only when the contestants have equal skills. In the case of the apparent skill gap, the advantage diminishes.

The study results can be helpful for a sports team to adopt more red in their attire. But also, it points out the need to regulate the attire by sports governing bodies even more as they seem to be influencing results to some extent.

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