When trying to impress a woman, past advice has included bringing her flowers, holding open doors, or perhaps an invitation to a romantic dinner.
The latest, scientifically proven advice to win a woman in 2010, you ask?
Wear a red t-shirt. No, we are not kidding.
The Ultimate Power Color
Red, like purple, has long been used to signify power, like on a monarch’s crown or even the dashing red cape of a bullfighter, to signify his dominance.
This continues today – celebrities walk down “red carpets” at premiers of movies and theater all the time, a royal space reserved for them only.
In more modern times, a sexy red dress on a woman has been proven time and time again to be the ultimate kryptonite against any man’s will. A “lady in red” (thank you, Chris de Burgh, for getting that song stuck in my head) is instantly thought to be provocative, powerful, and undeniably sexy.
Scientists at the University of Rochester in New York have revealed that there is a neuro-attraction to the color red in the human brain. There is no resisting temptation!
Back in 2008, researchers determined why men loved to see red on women. More recently, in the August 2010 issue of the Journal of Experimental Psychology, they have also discovered that this primal attraction to the color red exists in the brains of both males and females.
The fascinating field of color psychology dissects the connection between viewing a certain color and the messages that your brain instantly emits.
Daniela N. Kayer and her team found 288 female and 25 male University of Rochester undergraduates and showed them color photos of men in different color t-shirts (red, green, gray or blue).
The students (who identified as heterosexual or bi-sexual) were then asked a series of questions about the attractiveness of the man in the photo.
The questions ranged from, “How attractive is this person?” to their level of desire to kiss, date, or engage in sexual activity with the individual in the photo.
Non-sexual questions included were how kind the person in the photo looked, how successful he looked, and how friendly or outgoing he looked.
The non-surprising part of these results was that, just like men being attracted to women in red, the members of this group (mostly women) were similarly more attracted to men in red shirts than in any other color.
The surprising part is that the photos of men in red were not rated as being more likely to be successful or more sociable, two things I tend to think of as associations with red (celebs on a red carpet is the image that keeps popping into my mind).
The attraction of the red color was limited to a sexual viewpoint, not as a measure of success. Interesting, right?
Wearing the color red also seems to give athletes an advantage because it intimidates referees and the opponent. In multiple studies, it has been demonstrated that the “red” team gets more favorable calls than the “blue team”.
And a recent study just demonstrated that students who look at the color red before an exam actually end up doing worse! So even though red is sexy, don’t look at it – it might just make you feel inferior. When you wear it, you force other people to see it – giving you the dominant position.
Not Just for Humans…
It seems as if even non-human species hold red things in high regard, too, like the baboon with its fleshy, bright red behinds, which signify power and status. Like a human male with a red shirt, a baboon with a bright red behind is sure to capture the attention of a lovely lady.
So, our advice in 2010 for catching a new mate, whether you desire a male, female, or baboon – wear something red and wear it proudly, and you’ll be sure to attract some quality attention. Just don’t look at it before taking a test.
Elliot, Andrew J., and Daniela N. Kayser. “Red, Rank, and Romance in Women Viewing Men.” Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. Volume 139, Number 3. Aug 2010, 399-417.