Peperkoorn LS, Roberts SC & Pollet TV (2016) Revisiting the Red Effect on attractiveness and sexual receptivity: No effect of the color red on human mate preferences. Evolutionary Psychology, 14 (4), pp. 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1177/1474704916673841
Color-in-Context theory is the first theoretical framework for understanding color effects in human mate preferences, arguing that red clothing enhances attractiveness ratings. Here we present three empirical studies failing to support this prediction. We aimed to extend the current literature by differentiating color effects by temporal context (short-term versus long-term mating). Experiment 1 involved Dutch participants rating a woman in red, white, and black on (sexual) attractiveness. Experiment 2 replicated the first experiment with an American sample. In the final experiment we aimed to replicate a study that did find evidence of a red effect, using a substantially larger sample size. The results from each of the three studies (totaling N= 830 men) fail to support the red effect. We discuss the implications of our results and avenues for future research on red effects and attractiveness.
Evolutionary Psychology: Volume 14, Issue 4