May 21, 2005
How Bush won
A change of color may be required:
A new study of Olympic athletes finds that those wearing red have an advantage over blue-suited competitors.
Scientists examined one-on-one sports in the 2004 Olym-pics in which comp-etitors were ran-domly assigned red or blue outfits or protective gear. The events: boxing, tae kwon do, Greco-Ro-man wrestling and freestyle wrestling.
In 16 of 21 rounds there were more red-clad winners. Looked at a different way, red prevailed in 19 of 29 weight classes. The researchers are careful to point out that the effect is probably subtle, such that red can be a deciding factor only among evenly matched competitors.
“We find that wearing red is consistently associated with higher probability of winning,” University of Durham researchers Russell Hill and Robert Barton write in the May 19 issue of the journal Nature.
The scientists cite other studies that suggest red correlates to male dominance and testosterone levels in animals. And in humans, they note, “anger is associated with reddening of the skin due to increased blood flow, whereas fear is associated with increased pallor in similarly threatening situations.”
Angry, overbearing and red-faced? Sure sounds like a Republican.
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