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Updated: 2005-05-20 09:47

If you want to win in sports, wear red


If winning is everything, British anthropologists have some advice: Wear red.

If winning is everything, British anthropologists have some advice: Wear red.

If winning is everything, British anthropologists have some advice: Wear red. Their survey of four sports at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens shows competitors were more likely to win their contests if they wore red uniforms or red body armor.

"Across a range of sports, we find that wearing red is consistently associated with a higher probability of winning," report Russell A. Hill and Robert A. Barton of the University of Durham in England. Their findings are in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature.

Red coloration is associated with aggression in many animals. Often it is sexually selected so that scarlet markings signal male dominance.

Just think of the red stripes on the scowling face of the male Mandrill, Africa's largest monkey species. But red is not exclusively a male trait. It's the female black widow spider that is venomous and displays a menacing red dot on her abdomen.

Similarly, the color's effect also may subconsciously intimidate opponents in athletic contests, especially when the athletes are equal in skill and strength, the researchers suggest.

In their survey, the anthropologists analyzed the results of four combat sports at the summer games: boxing, tae kwon do, Greco-Roman wrestling and freestyle wrestling.

In those events, the athletes were randomly assigned red protective gear and other sportwear.

Athletes wearing red gear won more often in 16 of 21 rounds of competition in all four events.

The effect was the same regardless of weight classes, too: 19 of 29 classes had more red winners, and only four rounds had more blue winners.

The red effect also might come into play in team sports.

The anthropologists made a preliminary analysis of the Euro 2004 international soccer tournament, in which teams wore jerseys of different colors in different matches. They found that five teams scored more goals and won more often when they wore shirts that were predominantly red, as opposed to blue or white jerseys.

Scientists don't precisely known how wearing red might give athletes an advantage. But the color delivers implicit messages of vigor and danger. When people get angry, their faces turn red. It's also a reason why stop signs are red. So are most Ferraris.


如果获胜对您来说很重要,那么英国人类学家建议您: 请穿红色的衣服参加比赛。他们对2004年雅典奥运会上的四个运动项目进行了调查研究,结果表明穿红色运动服或防护外套的运动员在比赛中获胜的可能性更大。
















anthropologist: 人类学家

scowling : 闷闷不乐的,愁眉不展的

Mandrill: a large, fierce baboon (Papio sphinx) of western Africa, having a beard, crest, and mane and brilliant blue, purple, and scarlet facial markings in the adult male(山魈,一种产于西非的大型狒狒 ,性情暴烈,成年雄性山魈有胡子,头上有冠状物和鬃毛,脸部有明亮的蓝色、紫色和红色标记)

black widow: a poisonous New World spider (Latrodectus mactans), the female of which produces extremely toxic venom and has a black, shiny body with red markings(黑寡妇蜘蛛,西半球的一种有毒蜘蛛,其雌蜘蛛可以释放剧毒毒液,并有黑色、发光身体及红色斑纹)

menacing: 威胁的,险恶的

stop sign: 停车标志

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