Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Red alert

I was going through my web links at work today, weeding through them, trying to delete non-work related links when possible. It is my work computer, after all.

While doing so I came across a link to a press release I read a few months back, a link to a psychological study that I found interesting enough to bookmark. When I re-read it today, I thought that maybe other people would find it interesting too.

Can color affect behavior? This was the question the study aimed to answer, and believe it or not, the study found that at least in some situations, it can. The study found that the color red makes men feel more amorous toward women, and that this effect is not one that men are consciously aware of. (And that this effect is not so for women's feelings for men.)

University of Rochester psychologists performed five experiments in which they showed photos of women to men. The thing that changed in these photos was the color -- the color of the border surrounding the photo of the women in some cases, and the color of what the women were wearing in other photos. Everything else remained the same.

"Under all of the conditions, the women shown framed by or wearing red were rated significantly more attractive and sexually desirable by men than the exact same women shown with other colors."

Who knew? Are you a woman looking for lust love? Perhaps you should trade in your little black dress for little red one. And maybe you'll really get some mileage from wearing that firetruck red lipstick, or nail polish, or pair of shoes, and probably definitely from wearing that scarlet negligee. Maybe it's not just Maybelline and Victoria's Secret marketing dollars at work, maybe there is some substance there.

Even more intriguing, it turns out that this predilection for red is one shared by nonhuman male primates. They, like human males, are also attracted to females displaying red. Andrew Elliot, a University of Rochester psychology professor, explained that their study discovered definite parallels between the two, and that "In doing so, our findings confirm what many women have long suspected and claimed – that men act like animals in the sexual realm. As much as men might like to think that they respond to women in a thoughtful, sophisticated manner, it appears that at least to some degree, their preferences and predilections are, in a word, primitive."

Men? No, not men. I don't believe it. Okay, well maybe just a wee little tiny bit.


Me, You, or Ellie said...

Hmmm, some very interesting data here. Starting with the fact that you deleted your non-work bookmarks. Does that include blogs ?!

I do believe that color has an influence on behavior, it certainly affects our moods so it makes sense. I hate to see crazy patterns and colors on the walls and floor of classrooms, can't imagine how anyone can think let alone learn in that kind of space.

I'm not convinced about the sexuality thing, though. I look terrible in red.


Me, You, or Ellie said...

How very interesting. Especially since I'm wearing red today. Which I'm now going to start wearing every day...


Lola said...

And that's why I've got a red couch, curtains and tons of red clothes!

Rita.the.bookworm said...

So, what do you wear to make men not look at you sexually and just a person trying to have a rational conversation with them? A man mask?

Sorry, I'm bitter today and just feeling like wearing a shoulder holster with a big Dirty Harry gun is maybe the best way to be viewed by everyone.

Trannyhead said...

I wear red a lot.

I also read, by the way, that sports teams that have "red" as their color are more likely to win than those that don't. Weird, huh?

The Blue Ridge Gal said...

I don't find this surprising at all... men have always acted more like animals than humans... lol Hey, just kidding guys.

The Blue Ridge Gal