Study: The color red impacts achievement

March 1, 2007

U.S. and Germany scientists have discovered the color red can affect how people function, keeping them from performing at their best on tests.

University of Rochester and University of Munich researchers looking at the effect of red on intellectual performance found if test takers are aware of even a hint of red, their performance will be affected to a significant degree.

University of Rochester psychology Professor Andrew Elliot, lead author of the research, said investigators found when people see even a flash of red before being tested, they associate the color with mistakes and failures. In turn, they do poorly on the test.

"Color clearly has aesthetic value, but it can also carry specific meaning and convey specific information," said Elliot. "Our study of avoidance motivation is part and parcel of that."

Co-authors of the study were graduate students Arlen Moller and Ron Friedman at the University of Rochester and Markus Maier and Jorg Meinhardt at the University of Munich.

The research appears in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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