Wearing red ‘boosts attraction’

By | October 29, 2008

Women who don a little red dress before going out with a man may find their date more attentive and generous, according to scientists.

The University of Rochester study, published in a psychology journal, supports other evidence linking the colour to attractiveness. Men said they would spend more money on a woman pictured in red, compared with the same woman wearing a blue shirt. Experts say that red signals ovulation or attractiveness in other species.

It’s fascinating to find that something as ubiquitous as colour can be having an effect on our behaviour without our awareness
Professor Andrew Elliot
University of Rochester

The colour has traditionally been linked with romantic and sexual matters, from red hearts on Valentine’s Day, to red-light districts.

The researchers say that their study is clear evidence that the colour red makes men feel more amorous – even if this is only on a subconscious level.

Their volunteers were told they had $100, shown the picture of their “date”, then asked how much of that money they were prepared to spend. On average, wearing red meant a more expensive night out, and in general, a higher rating of attractiveness. When the pictures were shown to other women, there were no wardrobe-dependent differences in attractiveness ratings. – bbc

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