The new study, conducted by psychological scientist Daniel Farrelly of the University of Sunderland and colleagues, demonstrated that males who chose red as their color in a competitive task had higher testosterone levels than other males who chose blue.
"The research shows that there is something special about the color red in competition, and that it is associated with our underlying biological systems," Farrelly said.
The researchers believe that the link may explain why many sports stars wear red clothing - Tiger Woods, for example, famously chooses to wear a red shirt on the last day of a major competition.
Choosing to wear red "may, unconsciously, signal something about their competitive nature, and it may well be something that affects how their opponents respond," Farrelly said.
To determine participants' testosterone levels, the researchers took saliva samples at the start of the study, before the participants knew about the competitive task, and again at the end.
The data revealed that men who chose red had higher baseline testosterone levels, and they rated their color as having higher levels of characteristics such as dominance and aggression, than men who chose blue.
Colour choice did not, however, seem to be related to actual performance in the competitive task.
The researchers believe that direct competition, in which opponents can be seen wearing red or appearing red, may be necessary for the red advantage to occur.
The study is set to be published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
--ANI (Posted on 17-05-2013)