Danger ahead: Here's why you should avoid wearing red

  • IANS, London
  • Updated: May 13, 2015 15:49 IST

Men who wear red clothes send out a signal that they are angry and dominant, suggests a new research.

The colour red has a certain effect on the human brain.

For example, the idea of wearing a red tie - known as a "power tie" - is related to business or issuing a red alert.

"Men may wish to think carefully about wearing red in social situations and perhaps important meetings such as job interviews," said Diana Wiedemann from Durham University.

Being perceived as aggressive or dominant may be an advantage in some circumstances but a disadvantage in others, for example where teamwork or trustworthiness is important.

When 50 male and 50 female volunteers were showed images of men in different coloured t-shirts, they rated those wearing red as more aggressive and angry than those in blue or grey.

However, while the male volunteers also tended to consider men wearing red as "dominant", the female volunteers did not.

"The results of the research may have parallels in nature and could provide insights into whether it is advisable to wear red in certain social situations," added Rob Barton, professor in evolutionary anthropology who led the study.

The team has previously shown that wearing red can have effects in sport, promoting aggression and competitiveness within teams and intimidating opponents.

According to professor Barton, they are currently talking to organisers of combat sports about the possibility of introducing new rules on competitors wearing red, to avoid the colour being used to unfair advantage.

"Taken together, the findings suggest a clear association between the colour red and perceptions of anger, possibly related to the role of facial reddening as a natural sign of anger," the authors concluded.

The paper was published in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters.

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