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Sometimes it can be hard to find love and get a man or woman to notice you. Creating attraction, passion, and finding the right chemistry can be challenging too. Other times, however, to find a love just requires the right color symbolism in your wardrobe. It requires taking a cue from our primal nature – and using the color of love!

Psychological Effects of The Color Red

You probably won't be surprised to hear that red is the color of love. Red is the color of Cupid's arrows, used for valentines notes, and romantic hearts. However, the profound effect that this color has on the attraction of both men and women may just cause you to rethink its persuasive appeal. It may have you changing your attire as well!

For starters, Kayser, Elliot, and Feltman (2010) evaluated the effect of women wearing red on the feelings and behavior of men. In two experiments, men were asked to interact with women wearing a red shirt, or one of another color (green or blue). Men talking with women in red asked more intimate questions and sat closer. Overall, women wearing red were more sought-after and seen as more attractive too.

Similar research by Elliot, et al. (2010) also evaluated the effect of men wearing red on the feelings and behavior of women. This time in seven different experiments, the authors supported the "red is attractive" effect. Women who viewed men against a red background or in red clothing found them more sexually desirable and perceived that they were of higher social status. Red made men sexy as well!

Why Red Influences Passion

For the psychology-savvy, "red acts as a basic, non-lexical prime, influencing reproduction-relevant behavior in like manner across species" (Kayser, Elliot, & Feltman, 2010, p. 901). In plain English, this means that the color red triggers a basic, primal response in humans as a signal of sexuality and fertility. This occurs because the color red signals health, status, and fertility in many animals as well (think the bright red feathers of a healthy male cardinal, or the red rump of a female macaque monkey in heat).

Given that, when a man sees a woman in red, he is immediately and unconsciously influenced by the color to find her more attractive. Similarly, when a woman sees a man in red, she instinctively sees him as higher status and is more interested in having sex with him. The simple cue of red that influences the passion of our animal cousins also persuades our human amorous feelings and behaviors as well!

What This Means for You

When you want to be attractive, wear red! Not only will it make others perceive you as better looking and higher status, but it will also make them want to get to know you, be close, and get passionate. So, the next time you go out to find a mate, or get ready for a special date, think about wearing some red. You will create that chemistry, feel better about yourself, and have a more loving experience.

Conclusion

Learn from our animal neighbors – use red to quickly and easily attract a mate. Pay attention to the colors you wear. Incorporate a little crimson, burgundy, cardinal, rose, and wine color into your wardrobe. Make use of the color of love and get the romance you desire.

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Until next time...happy dating and relating!

Dr. Jeremy Nicholson
The Attraction Doctor

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References

  • Elliot, A. J., Kayser, D. N., Greitemeyer, T. , Lichtenfeld, S., Gramzow, R. H., Maier, M. A., & Liu, H.(2010). Red, rank, and romance in women viewing men. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 139, 399-417.
  • Kayser, D., Elliot, A. J., & Feltman, R. (2010). Red and romantic behavior in men viewing women. European Journal of Social Psychology, 40, 901-908.

© 2011 by Jeremy S. Nicholson, M.A., M.S.W., Ph.D. All rights reserved.

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