the power of red

An interesting article in New Scientist has explored the influence of colour on the choices we make; how we act and think. The article – – quotes research published in Psychologial Science that revealed that the colour of clothing worn by competitors in a taekwondo contest affects the decisions even by experienced referees. In short, competitors wearing red were awarded 13% more points than those dressed in blue


This builds on previous research published in Nature in 2005 – – that showed that between 55% and 62% of bouts in Olympic combat contests were won by competitors wearing red when in fact red and blue should have won 50% each if colour had no effect. Robert Barton, from Durham University (UK) has argued that the colour red could influence the mind of the referee but could also affect the mental state and performance of the competitor.

Interestingly, 38 of the last 63 top division soccer titles in England have been won by teams in red (Manchester, United, Arsenal, Liverpool) and goalkeepers feel more confident about saving a penalty from a player in a white shirt than in a red one. Both of these facts were taken from papers published in Journal of Sports Sciences.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *