Seeing red, feeling hot, realising nothing

Photo by Flickr user Thomas Hawk. Click for sourceSeeing red leads men to view women as more attractive and more desirable despite them not being aware of any change in their perceptions. A delightful study from last year that, as the authors note, has ‘clear practical implications’!

Romantic red: red enhances men’s attraction to women.

J Pers Soc Psychol. 2008 Nov;95(5):1150-64.

Elliot AJ, Niesta D.

In many nonhuman primates, the color red enhances males’ attraction to females. In 5 experiments, the authors demonstrate a parallel effect in humans: Red, relative to other achromatic and chromatic colors, leads men to view women as more attractive and more sexually desirable. Men seem unaware of this red effect, and red does not influence women’s perceptions of the attractiveness of other women, nor men’s perceptions of women’s overall likeability, kindness, or intelligence. The findings have clear practical implications for men and women in the mating game and, perhaps, for fashion consultants, product designers, and marketers. Furthermore, the findings document the value of extending research on signal coloration to humans and of considering color as something of a common language, both within and across species.

pdf of full text of study.
Link to PubMed entry for study.

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