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Wear Red to win a sports event: Study

Toronto, Feb 25 (ANS) Wearing red at top international sporting events like the Olympics benefits an athlete, says a new study.

In fast-paced sports such as races and skating a referee's perceptions of motion are subconsciously affected by the colour the athlete is wearing, says the study at York University here.

"All things being equal between two figure skaters - including their actual speed on the ice - the judges will perceive a skater in red is moving with greater speed than a skater in blue, and may reward the skater in red with higher marks," said Mazyar Fallah, study author and assistant professor at the School of Kinesiology and Health Science in the university.

The study may also be important for other fields such as advertising, in which capturing attention is paramount, and in designing human-computer interfaces that are effective, he said.

During their study on visual processing, Fallah and co-author Illia Tchernikov found that people's eyes more quickly follow a red target on a computer screen than a green, yellow, or especially a blue target, a university statement said Wednesday.

"In sports, the outcome of a competition is supposed to depend on the abilities of the players, rather than the colours they are wearing," said Fallah.

"However, our research shows it may make sense to wear red in a sport such as figure skating, in which you want to be perceived as quick. In contrast, it may be best to wear another colour in a sport in which a referee is handing out penalties," he said.

Fallah said their research has implications for many sports, including figure skating and gymnastics, in which speed may be perceived by a judge rather than measured in milliseconds.

The research was based on five participants, with each completing about 1,000 tests.

During the tests, each participant focussed on targets on the screen and all produced the same colour hierarchy - choosing red targets first, followed by green, yellow and blue.

Fallah said this suggests that the colour hierarchy is ingrained in the human mind, either because of evolution - red is the colour of blood, whereas blue is the colour of the sky - or as a result of experience, as red stop signs and traffic signals indicate danger.

The study has been published in the journal Public Library of Science.

(News published under the licence from Indo Asian News Service)

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