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In several experiments, the shirt of the man in the photographs was digitally colored either red or another color. The face is blurred for privacy protection. What could be as alluring as a lady in red? A gentleman in red, finds a multicultural study published Aug.
Simply wearing the color red or being bordered by the rosy hue makes a man more attractive and sexually desirable to women, according to a series of studies by researchers at the University of Rochester and other institutions. And women are unaware of this arousing effect. The cherry color's charm ultimately lies in its ability to make men appear more powerful, says lead author Andrew Elliot, professor of psychology at the University of Rochester.
And it's this high-status judgment that le to the attraction," Elliot says. Why does red al rank? The authors see both culture and biology at work.
In human societies across the globe, red traditionally has been part of the regalia of the rich and powerful. Ancient China, Japan and sub-Saharan Africa all used the vibrant tint to convey prosperity and elevated status, and Ancient Rome's most powerful citizens were literally called "the ones who wear red.
Along with this learned association between red and status, the authors point to the biological roots of human behavior. In non-human primates, like mandrills and gelada baboons, red is an indicator of male dominance and is expressed most intensely in alpha males. Females of these species mate more often with alpha males, who in turn provide protection and resources.
It looks like women may be acting like animals as well in the same sort of way. To quantify the red effect, the paper analyzed responses from female and 25 male undergraduates to photographs of men in seven different experiments. Participants were all self-identified as heterosexual or bisexual. In one color presentation, participants looked at a man's photo framed by a border of either red or white and answered a series of questions, such as: "How attractive do you think this person is?
Other experiments contrasted red with gray, green, or blue. Colors were precisely equated in lightness and intensity so that test could not be attributed to differences other than hue. Participants rated the pictured man's status and attractiveness, and reported on their willingness to date, kiss, and engage in other sexual activity with the person.
They also rated the man's general likability, kindess, and extraversion.
The researchers found that the red effect was limited to status and romance: red made the man seem more powerful, attractive, and sexually desirable, but did not make the man seem more likable, kind, or sociable. The effect was consistent across cultures: undergraduates in the United States, England, Germany, and China all found men more attractive when wearing or bordered by red.
And the effect was limited to women.
When males were asked to rate the attractiveness of a pictured male, color made no difference in their responses. Across all the studies, the influence of color was totally under the radar. In earlier work, Elliot documented that men are more attracted to women in red. But the red effect depends on the context.
Elliot and others have also shown that seeing red in competitive situations, such as IQ tests or sporting events, le to worse performance. Gramzow, University of Southampton; Markus A. Buffalo Examiner Wearing red makes men more attractive to women, U of Rochester study says August 18, Canada Globe and Mail Red: the season's statement shade November 5, Chicago Sun Times Study the five senses of seduction August 11, CNN Women prefer men in red, study shows August 6, Dominion Post Women find men in red more appealing August 9, Globe and Mail Red is hot on both sexes, but for different reasons August 6, Globe and Mail Want to be a chick magnet?
Try wearing red August 9, Vacaville Reporter Flaming Red: Women find the Ladys looking for Rochester a of status, money and power August 19, Contact: Susan Hagen susan. Located in Rochester, N. Making headlines Asahi.
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