How Red Effects Human Emotion and Behavior
There is an influence constantly working on our minds, one that we may not have even noticed. It follows us everywhere, and we can't escape it no matter how hard we try. It doesn't make a sound or move, it just silently hides in plain sight effecting the way we think. Colors are one of the most effective yet least thought about influences on our minds. How come seemingly every super hero has a red suit? Or why are the super villains always wearing black? Why are hospitals never painted red, and most businesses have white, yellow, and red for their logo colors? The most emotionally intense color is arguably red. Even though we don't always notice it, red effects our moods, how we perceive others, our health, and even how we talk. It also is symbolism for a wide range of things we see everyday.
The least noticeable effect that red has on us is how it can change our mood. No one would think to blame it on a color, it seems a little silly doesn't it? But in fact, it does. It can stir up a range of emotions from passion and love to violence and warfare (Ahmed Abdul-Sherif). Imagine you walk into a room. Red walls, red furniture, red carpet, and red lighting taking over the whole room. Without trying, your mind would automatically speed up. You would feel more tense, more aggressive, and feel a flood of emergency or danger even without trying. Since red is such a powerful color, rarely ever will you see a hospital painted the color red. "Seeing red in competitive situations such as written examinations lead to worse performance" (someone) Red on the cover of an IQ test has more times than not led to a worse score (someone) because it would quietly push danger, fear, and unneeded energy into you right before you start the test.
Red, if used correctly, can be used to your benefit. Red is said to "exert some influence in team games" (Ahmed Abdul-Sherif). If one competitor is weak and another is strong, wearing red won't change that. But the closer the levels of the two players, the more the color will have an influence on the other opponent (Ahmed Abdul-Sherif). Having red as a team color can make the other team feel anxious, cause them to make more mistakes, and even feel guilt or hatred while in the game. Pink, a lighter shade of red, has a slightly different effect. Though still a shade of red, it has a dramatic difference in how it can make us feel. Pink sneaks in feeling of love, serenity, and can drain energy. Which is why often times teams paint their opponents locker rooms pink, in hopes to make them a little more relaxed and drained before games.
A study at University of Rochester was done on how the color red can effect how men think of women. In the first test, they held up one of two pictures. Both were pictures of the same woman, but she was wearing red in one, and blue in the other. In the second test, they held up one of two pictures as well. The two pictures were exactly alike,...