What Ladies Need To Know About 'The Red Dress Effect'
Feb 29, 2012 11:15
Thinking about painting the town red while wearing your favourite red dress? You might want to rethink that scenario after reading more on its effects.
According to ScienceNow , researchers showed 25 guys a photo of a woman, who'd been Photoshopped to wear either a red or a white t-shirt. They were asked to rate how interested the woman seemed to be in sex using a scale of 1 to 9. When she was wearing red, the men rated her 1 to 1.5 points higher than the white one. According to the researchers, this shows that "wearing red may be a double-edged sword" because women "may be getting sexual attention they don't want."
Below are a few more findings from previous studies done by the same research team (listed by Jezebel):
In 2008, researchers Andrew Elliot and Daniela Niesta reported that "red, relative to other achromatic and chromatic colors, leads men to view women as more attractive and more sexually desirable. Men seem unaware of this red effect, and red does not influence women's perceptions of the attractiveness of other women, nor men's perceptions of women's overall likeability, kindness, or intelligence." So wearing red won't make men think you're nice, but it will make them think you're hot.
A 2010 study by Elliot, Nesta, and colleagues found that wearing red works for guys too. Women found dudes in red more attractive than ones wearing other colors. The effect even worked for guys just photographed on red backgrounds, which means carrying around a giant red backdrop to stand in front of is totally a viable mating strategy.
In 2011, Elliot and his team found that seeing red temporarily made people's reactions quicker and more foreceful. He said, "Red enhances our physical reactions because it is seen as a danger cue. Humans flush when they are angry or preparing for attack. People are acutely aware of such reddening in others and it's implications."
In 2009, researchers Juliet Zhu and Ravi Mehta found that red could boost people's memories — said Zhu, "If you're talking about wanting enhanced memory for something like proofreading skills, then a red color should be used."
Elliot (who apparently is really cornering the Red Studies market) and colleagues found in 2007 that red could make people dumber. Specifically, seeing the color right before an IQ test made subjects score lower. Maybe because it's often the color of a big fat F?
In his reaction-time study, Elliot also found that red can be related to "worry, task distraction, and self-preoccupation, all of which have been shown to tax mental resources," perhaps because of its association with danger. So red makes you a stressed-out narcissist? Awesome.
Man Repeller and countless other sources of beauty and dating advice have warned ladies away from red lipstick, claiming guys hate it. However, a 2010 study found that men spent more time staring at red-painted lips than at any other feature (or at paint-free mouths) — the study author opined that this meant guys actually like red lipstick a lot.
So basically, while a red dress might make you look sexy and available, but it could also make your would-be admirers stupid and self-absorbed.