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Old 07-12-2008   #1
CloakNNNdagger
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Default I See Red

This subject seems now to be of perennial interest........that of uniform color. The majority of us have looked forward to seeing our warriors in combatant red.......better known to Texans fans as Battle Red.

There maybe something to our attraction beyond what lies on the surface. Red cars attract more tickets. Red prison walls create more aggressive inmates than any other color besides purple. Red traffic lights and brake lights announce danger.

As researchers have found, red coloration is a sexually selected signal of male quality and the presence and intensity of red coloration correlates to male dominance and testosterone levels. So, athletes facing off against opponents sporting red uniforms might subconsciously feel thrown off their game:

Quote:
British anthropologists Russell Hill and Robert Barton of the University of Durham reached that conclusion by studying the outcomes of one-on-one boxing, tae kwon do, Greco-Roman-wresting, and freestyle-wrestling matches at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece.

In each event Olympic staff randomly assigned red or blue clothing or body protection to competitors. When otherwise equally matched with their opponent in fitness and skill, athletes wearing red were more likely to win the bout.

"Where there was a large point difference—presumably because one contestant was far superior to the other—color had no effect on the outcome," Barton said. "Where there was a small point difference, the effect of color was sufficient to tip the balance."

In equally matched bouts, the preponderance of red wins was great enough that it could not be attributed to chance, the anthropologists say. Hill and Barton found similar results in a review of the colors worn at the Euro 2004 international soccer tournament. Their report will be published in tomorrow's issue of the journal Nature.

Quote:
"Where there was a large point difference—presumably because one contestant was far superior to the other—color had no effect on the outcome," Barton said. "Where there was a small point difference, the effect of color was sufficient to tip the balance."

In equally matched bouts, the preponderance of red wins was great enough that it could not be attributed to chance, the anthropologists say. Hill and Barton found similar results in a review of the colors worn at the Euro 2004 international soccer tournament. Their report will be published in tomorrow's issue of the journal Nature.
Quote:
Hill and Barton got the idea for their study study out of a mutual interest in the evolution of sexual signals in primates—"red seems to be the color, across species, that signals male dominance and testosterone levels," Barton said.

For example, studies by Setchell, the Cambridge primate researcher, show that dominant male mandrills have increased red coloration in their faces and rumps. Another study by other scientists shows that red plastic rings experimentally placed on the legs of male zebra finches increase the birds' dominance.

Barton said he and Hill speculated some speculated that "there might be a similar effect in humans. And if so, [it] could be apparent in sporting contests."
Quote:
Setchell, the primatologist, agrees. "As Hill and Barton say, humans redden when we are angry and pale when we're scared. These are very important signals to other individuals," she said.

Quote:
The advantage of red may be intuitively known, judging from the prevalence of red uniforms in sports—"though it is clearly not very widely appreciated, on a conscious level at least," Barton said.

He adds that the finding of red's advantage might have implications for regulations that govern sporting attire. In the Olympic matches he surveyed for the new study, for example, it is possible some medal winners may have reached the pedestal with an unintended advantage.

"That is the implication, though we cannot say that it made the difference in any one specific case," Barton said.

Red is the color of power..........Let us see more red this season............BATTLE RED, that is.
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