ArticlePDF Available

Abstract and Figures

This study examined the proposition that competing against red-clad opponents hinders the performance of soccer (football) athletes. 40 experienced players took 10 penalty kicks against a goalkeeper wearing a black jersey and, 1 week later, took 10 penalty kicks against a goalkeeper wearing either a red, green, blue, or yellow jersey. Prior to each set of kicks, participants reported their expectancy of success. Players facing red-clad goalkeepers scored on fewer penalty kicks than those facing either blue- or green-clad goalkeepers, but no differences in expectancy of success emerged. The findings indicate that athletes wearing red may have an advantage over their opponents.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Please Do Not Post This Article on the Web!*
To maintain the integrity of peer-reviewed and editorially approved
publications in Perceptual and Motor Skills
copyright to this article and all accompanying intellectual property rights.
Ammons
institution, as well as personal educational development and sharing of
the article with the author’s close colleagues. Any other use, including, but
not limited to, reproduction and distribution through paper or electronic
copies, posting on any websites, or selling or licensing additional copies
is prohibited. This article cannot be used for any commercial purpose
whatsoever. Terms of use
posters about the terms of use.
http://www.AmSci.com
ORIGINALITY | CREATIVITY | UNDERSTANDING
ISSN 0031-5125DOI 10.2466/30.24.PMS.117x14z6
Perceptual & Motor Skills: Exercise & Sport
COLOR OF SOCCER GOALKEEPERS' UNIFORMS INFLUENCES THE
OUTCOME OF PENALTY KICKS
1
IAIN A. GREENLEES
University of Chichester
MICHAEL EYNON
University of the West of Scotland
RICHARD C. THELWELL
University of Portsmouth
Summary .— This study examined the proposition that competing against red-
clad opponents hinders the performance of soccer (football) athletes. 40 experi-
enced players took 10 penalty kicks against a goalkeeper wearing a black jersey
and, 1 week later, took 10 penalty kicks against a goalkeeper wearing either a red,
green, blue, or yellow jersey. Prior to each set of kicks, participants reported their
expectancy of success. Players facing red-clad goalkeepers scored on fewer penalty
kicks than those facing either blue- or green-clad goalkeepers, but no di erences in
expectancy of success emerged. The ndings indicate that athletes wearing red may
have an advantage over their opponents.
The e ect of color on human functioning has been of interest to
researchers in a variety of domains for over a hundred years (e.g., Feh-
rman & Fehrman, 2004 ) and a large amount of research has examined the
e ects of color stimuli on variables ranging from attributes assigned to the
stimuli to a ective, cognitive, and behavioural responses to the color ( Sol-
dat, Sinclair, & Mark, 1997 ). Within the eld of color psychology, applied
researchers have also been interested in the e ect of clothing color on the
psychological states of the wearer and the perceiver. In a classic study,
Frank and Gilovich (1988 ) con rmed the potential e ects of clothing color
when they found that sports performers wearing black were perceived,
by spectators and o cials alike, to be more aggressive and likely to cheat
than performers wearing other colors. Frank and Gilovich also showed
that black-clad performers were more likely to commit foul-play than
white-clad performers.
Recently, researchers have explored the potential for red clothing to
confer an advantage on wearers in sport. Hill and Barton (2005 ) proposed
that humans may possess a biologically-based predisposition to view red
© Perceptual & Motor Skills 2013
2013, 117, 1, 1-10.
1 Address correspondence to Iain A. Greenlees, Department of Sport and Exercise
Sciences, College Lane, University of Chichester, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 6PE, UK or
e-mail ( i.greenlees@chi.ac.uk ).
01-PMS_Greenlees_130033.indd 101-PMS_Greenlees_130033.indd 1 05/11/13 8:13 AM05/11/13 8:13 AM
I. A. GREENLEES, ET AL.
2
as a sign of danger that stems from instances of red signalling danger in
the natural world (e.g., red coloration in several species is used to sig-
nify dominance or readiness to attack; Setchell & Wickings, 2005 ; Pryke &
Gri th, 2006 ). In an archival examination of Olympic martial arts results,
they found that competitors who wore red were more likely to win their
bout than competitors who wore blue. Hill and Barton (2005 ) also found
that soccer teams competing in the 2004 European Championships had
better results and scored more goals when they wore red than when they
wore a uniform of another color. This nding has subsequently been sup-
ported by Atrill, Gresty, Hill, and Barton (2008 ) and Allen and Jones (2012 ).
Attrill, et al. (2008) analysed home-team performance relative to primary
shirt color among English soccer league teams since the Second World
War and found that teams wearing red had higher mean league rankings,
percentage wins, and points per game than teams wearing any other color.
However, these ndings have been contested by researchers who have
found that red uniforms do not provide an advantage in sport ( Kocher &
Sutter, 2008 ; García-Rubio, Picazo-Tadeo, & González-Gómez, 2011 ).
Thus, the current literature is equivocal in its support for any advan-
tage conferred by red clothing in sport. One potential reason for this may
be the over-reliance on archival research studies. To address this, Hage-
mann, Strauss, and Leissing (2008 ) conducted an experimental analysis of
the e ects of red uniforms in a competitive sport. Hagemann, et al. (2008)
digitally manipulated footage of ve Taikwondo competitors participat-
ing in sparring rounds so that the footage showed the performer wear-
ing either red or blue protective equipment (trunk and head protectors).
Experienced referees viewed and scored these rounds. Although the per-
formances they viewed were identical, the referees who observed the red-
clad target awarded more points than referees who saw the same target
performing in blue.
Research has also shown that wearing red may confer an advantage
on the wearer in soccer. Greenlees, Leyland, Thelwell, and Filby (2008 )
examined the e ect of soccer players' uniform color and gaze behaviour
on the impressions formed of them by opposing goalkeepers. Twelve
goalkeepers observed video footage of four soccer players preparing to
take a penalty kick. Each soccer player was seen in a di erent combination
of uniform color (red or white) and gaze (90% vs 10% of gaze directed at
goalkeeper). The goalkeepers rated each player on a series of descriptors,
as well as rating their expectancies for successfully saving penalty kicks
from that player. The results indicated that goalkeepers perceived pen-
alty kickers dressed in red to be more composed, focused, dominant, con-
dent, experienced and assertive than those wearing white, and reported
being less con dent of saving penalties kicked by players who wore red
01-PMS_Greenlees_130033.indd 201-PMS_Greenlees_130033.indd 2 05/11/13 8:13 AM05/11/13 8:13 AM
COLORED UNIFORMS, EFFECTS 3
and displayed 10% gaze towards the goalkeeper. Subsequent research by
Feltman and Elliot (2011 ) supported these ndings, and also found that
wearing red enhanced wearers’ perception of their dominance and threat.
This research thus supports the original work of Hill and Barton (2005 )
and indicates that uniform color has the potential to in uence the course
and outcome of sporting contests.
Despite the evidence for the potential in uence of red uniforms, there
is currently no experimental research that has examined the e ect of red
uniforms on the outcomes of actual sporting encounters. Thus, the cur-
rent research aimed to provide a quasi-experimental examination of the
e ects on performance of competing against a performer wearing di er-
ent uniform colors. Red uniforms were compared with a range of alterna-
tively colored uniforms for two reasons. Firstly, Feltman & Elliot (2011 )
have recently called for researchers to examine the e ects of red with a
broader range of colors to more fully explore its e ects. Secondly, as soc-
cer goalkeepers typically wear a range of colors, the practical utility of this
research would be increased by assessing a range of colors, as well as by
measuring expectancies of success prior to taking penalties.
Hypothesis 1. In line with previous research ndings (e.g., Hill &
Barton, 2005 ), participants who competed against an opponent
wearing red would perform worse (as measured by the num-
ber of penalties they scored) than participants who competed
against an opponent wearing either a yellow-, green-, or blue-
colored uniform.
Hypothesis 2. In line with the ndings of Greenlees, et al. (2008 ),
participants competing against red-clad opponents would
have lower expectancies of success than participants compet-
ing against opponents dressed in other colors.
M ETHOD
Participants
Forty male, collegiate soccer players ( M age = 21.9 yr., age range =
18–24) were recruited from the University of Chichester. The mean num-
ber of years of competitive soccer experience was 12. All participants self-
reported themselves to be of white-European ethnicity and without visual
impairment or color blindness. All participants were volunteers and
signed informed consent forms prior to the study.
Measures
Penalty kick outcome .— The context of this experiment was the soccer
penalty kick. Participants took penalty kicks on a grass pitch. The size
01-PMS_Greenlees_130033.indd 301-PMS_Greenlees_130033.indd 3 05/11/13 8:13 AM05/11/13 8:13 AM
I. A. GREENLEES, ET AL.
4
of the goal (7.32 × 2.44 m) and the distance of the penalty spot from the
goal (11 m) were in accordance with Fédération Internationale de Football
Association (FIFA) laws. A standard size 5 soccer ball was used through-
out the testing. Participants took 10 penalties in two conditions, with the
number of successful kicks (where the ball was judged by 2 research assis-
tants to have crossed the goal-line) being used as the dependent variable.
Expectancy of success .— Participants were asked to rate their percep-
tions of their chances of successfully scoring penalties against the goal-
keeper they were about to face using a 10-point, hierarchically ordered
scale, devised in line with the suggestions of Feltz and Chase (1998 ). The
participants were asked to indicate their agreement or disagreement (yes
or no) with the number of times out of 10 (from zero to 10) they would
score a penalty taken against the goalkeeper they were about to face. For
each response, participants were asked to state their certainty in their
answer with anchors 1: Not sure at all and 10: Totally convinced. A total
score was calculated by summing the certainty scores for all the penal-
ties the participants felt they would score (i.e., answered “yes”). Scores
ranged from zero to 100 with higher scores indicating a greater expectancy
of scoring penalties against the target goalkeeper.
Design and procedure .— Following ethical review and approval, partic-
ipants were recruited from the University soccer teams. Each participant
attended two testing sessions, with between 3 hours and 7 days between
each session. All the testing took place at the same venue, a University
soccerpitch, using the same equipment. To restrict the number of pen-
alties faced by the goalkeepers in any one day, testing was spread over
three days, separated by at least one week. On each day, there were two,
160-min. sessions, separated by one hour, in which goalkeepers faced a
maximum of 160 penalties. Each set of 10 penalties took a maximum of 5
minutes and goalkeepers were given a 5-min. break between each partici-
pant. Thus, goalkeepers either faced 240 or 160 penalty shots in one day.
Prior to testing, and following pilot testing, both goalkeepers agreed that
this represented a manageable number of penalties to face in any one day.
Participants completed the testing individually, in the presence of the sec-
ond author and three research assistants. In the rst session, participants
took 10 penalty kicks against a goalkeeper (height = 1.88 m; weight = 102
kg) wearing a black soccer jersey. The purpose of this session was to pro-
vide a baseline measure of performance in the penalty-kick task, which
would allow statistical control of initial di erences in penalty-kick taking
ability within the participants.
Prior to the second session, participants were matched for perfor-
mance in session one and took penalties against a goalkeeper (height =
1.78 m; weight = 89.6 kg) in one of four experimental conditions (red,
01-PMS_Greenlees_130033.indd 401-PMS_Greenlees_130033.indd 4 05/11/13 8:13 AM05/11/13 8:13 AM
COLORED UNIFORMS, EFFECTS 5
yellow, blue, or green jerseys). During this session, the goalkeeper's jer-
sey color was rotated after each participant. Participants were not pres-
ent when the goalkeeper changed jersey and only entered the testing area
when the goalkeeper was changed into the appropriate jersey. All jerseys
used in this experiment were commercially available goalkeeper jerseys
(with branding removed). Both goalkeepers were asked to try to save each
penalty they faced, but not to move before each penalty was struck or
move o their line. Further, they were instructed to stand directly in the
middle of the goal and to focus their attention on the ball as the partici-
pants prepared to take the penalty. They were also instructed to avoid
any incidental interaction with the participants by remaining in the goal-
mouth and by focusing their attention on either the ball or the experi-
menter for the duration of each testing session. This was an attempt to
control for other elements of non-verbal communication and interaction,
which may have in uenced penalty-taking success ( Greenlees, et al.,
2008 ). The goalkeepers were informed that the study's purpose was to
examine the role of uniform color on penalty performance but they were
not informed of any of the experimental hypotheses. Using a funnelled
brie ng and debrie ng procedure ( Bargh & Chartrand, 2000 ), the goal-
keepers reported that they were unaware of the potential e ect of red uni-
forms on performance and perceived uniform color had no e ect on their
performance in the task, suggesting that they were unaware of any color
e ect or the true purpose of the study. Prior to taking each set of penal-
ties, the participants were asked to rate their expectancies of success. Fol-
lowing the experiment, all participants completed a funnelled debrie ng
procedure and were debriefed fully as to the nature of the study. No par-
ticipants reported any suspicion as to the nature of the research and none
reported any suspicions concerning the jersey color of the goalkeeper.
Analysis
The authors conducted two one-way analyses of covariance (ANCO-
VAs), using session one penalty kick scores and expectancy of success
scores as the covariates, to explore the e ects of uniform color on perfor-
mance and expectancies of success. ANCOVA was used to reduce error
variance and to equate groups on initial penalty-kick ability and expec-
tancies of success ( Field, 2009 ). All ANCOVA assumptions were met. To
examine statistically signi cant ndings, pairwise comparison tests based
on adjusted means were used. It could be argued that a correction (e.g.,
Bonferroni) should have been used, as conducting multiple analyses
increases the chance of producing statistically signi cant results. How-
ever, the danger of using such corrections is that they are overly conser-
vative (especially with preliminary and exploratory data sets such as the
present one) and they come at the cost of signi cantly reduced statistical
01-PMS_Greenlees_130033.indd 501-PMS_Greenlees_130033.indd 5 05/11/13 8:13 AM05/11/13 8:13 AM
I. A. GREENLEES, ET AL.
6
power and the increased probability of making a Type II error ( Nakagawa,
2004 ; Allen, Greenlees, & Jones, 2011 ).
R ESULTS
The one-way ANCOVA conducted on penalty kick performance
indicated a signi cant e ect of uniform color ( F 3,34 = 3.57, p = .024, ω
2 =
0.16). Pairwise comparison tests indicated that fewer goals were scored
against the goalkeeper when he wore red than when he wore blue ( p =
.017, Cohen's d = 1.12), or green ( p = .004, d = 1.47). The di erence between
goals scored in the red and yellow conditions was not statistically signi -
cant although the e ect size was moderate ( p = .13, d = 0.75). The other dif-
ferences between groups had small e ect sizes (blue vs green, p = .55, d =
0.25; blue vs yellow, p = .38, d = 0.36; green vs yellow, p = .16, d = 0.25). The
one-way ANCOVA conducted on expectancy of success scores indicated
no e ect of uniform color ( F 3,34 = 0.28, p = .84, ω
2 = 0.03). See Table 1 for
mean performance and expectancy of success scores.
TABLE 1
M EAN PERFORMANCE AND EXPECTANCIES OF SUCCESS SCORES ACROSS COLOR CONDITIONS
Measure
Goalkeepers' Uniform Color
Red Blue Yellow Green
M SD M SD M SD M SD
Performance against
control goalkeeper 6.90 2.42 6.80 1.62 6.80 1.32 6.70 1.83
Expectancies of suc-
cess against control
goalkeeper 60.70 14.69 58.90 12.46 68.80 18.25 55.00 13.23
Performance against
target goalkeeper 5.40 1.58 7.20 1.87 6.90 1.66 7.50 1.78
Expectancies of suc-
cess against target
goalkeeper 53.60 10.33 50.20 16.21 58.20 13.09 46.30 17.93
D ISCUSSION
The ndings of the present study provide support for Hypothesis 1,
related to the e ect of red uniforms on sporting performance ( Hill & Bar-
ton, 2005 ), and also adds to the burgeoning research that indicates that red
uniforms may be associated with sporting outcomes (e.g., Greenlees, et al.,
2008 ; Hagemann, et al., 2008 ; Feltman & Elliot, 2011 ; Allen & Jones, 2012 ). The
present study provides the rst evidence that the actual outcome of a sport-
ing encounter may be in uenced if one competitor is clad in red. There were
signi cant di erences in performance between the red and blue and between
the red and green conditions, there was no di erence between the red and
01-PMS_Greenlees_130033.indd 601-PMS_Greenlees_130033.indd 6 05/11/13 8:13 AM05/11/13 8:13 AM
COLORED UNIFORMS, EFFECTS 7
yellow conditions. Although the di erence was not signi cant ( p = .06), the
e ect size was large (Cohen's d = 0.75), so the power of the analysis was quite
low. Thus, it is clear that future studies need higher statistical power to test
explicitly the di erence between the red and yellow conditions.
Hypothesis 2 concerned the e ect of red uniforms on reported
expectancies of success. Interestingly, we did not nd evidence that the
red e ect operates through changes in expectancies of success, as there
were no di erences in reported expectancies across the four conditions.
This contradicts the ndings of Greenlees, et al. (2008 ), who found that
goalkeepers had lower expectancies of success when competing against
red-clad opponents who avoided eye contact (as the goalkeepers in this
study were told to) than when competing against opponents dressed in
white who avoided eye contact. Although it is unclear why this di erence
emerged, it could be an artefact of the many di erences in the research
designs of the two studies (e.g., within- vs between-subjects designs,
laboratory-based viewing of lm footage of hypothetical opponents vs
eld-based competition with real-life opponents).
If the e ect of red color is not explained by perceivers' consciously held
expectancies of success, future researchers must identify the mechanisms
through which red color exerts an in uence. There are many potential
mechanisms. Firstly, Elliot and colleagues (e.g., Elliot, Maier, Moller, Fried-
man, & Meinhardt, 2007 ; Maier, Elliot, & Lichtenfeld, 2008 ; Elliot, Maier,
Binser, Friedman, & Pekrun, 2009 ) claim that the perception of red pro-
motes unconscious avoidance motivation. In a series of cognitive tasks, they
showed that red stimuli in uenced EEG readings, attentional processes,
and behavioral responses, re ective of avoidance motivation. Secondly,
researchers could examine how an opponent wearing red may in uence
the attention of the perceiver. Bakker, Oudejans, Binsch, and van der Kamp
(2006 ) and Wilson, Wood, and Vine (2009 ) have shown that penalty kick
performance is impaired when attention is devoted to the goalkeeper prior
to taking a penalty. Wilson, et al. (2009 ) further propose that any factor that
makes the goalkeeper more salient or conspicuous, and hence distracting,
may in uence performance; they cited red uniforms as one such factor.
Thirdly, it has been proposed (e.g., Rowe, Harris, & Roberts, 2005 ; Soro-
kowski & Szmajke, 2011 ) that any e ects of color are due to simple visual
discrimination e ects, in that some colors are simply more visible than oth-
ers and so it is easier to identify the movements of opponents. Finally, there
is also the possibility, alluded to by Hill and Barton (2005 ), that red exerts
an intrapersonal e ect, in that wearers of red feel more dominant and thus
it is their performances that are enhanced rather than the performance of
the perceiver being impaired. Research that untangles the e ects of uniform
color on sporting performance is clearly needed.
01-PMS_Greenlees_130033.indd 701-PMS_Greenlees_130033.indd 7 05/11/13 8:13 AM05/11/13 8:13 AM
I. A. GREENLEES, ET AL.
8
Although the ndings of the present research provide support for the
hypothesized role of red uniforms in sport, there are a number of limita-
tions to the current study that mean the results should be treated with
some caution and explored further. The principal limitation of the research
design is that no attempt was made to control the amount of time partici-
pants spent attending to the goalkeeper and the color of his jersey, or the
hue, brightness, perceived typicality, and saturation of the jersey colors
that were used in this experiment. Both of these have been highlighted as
problematic in previous research (e.g., Elliot, et al., 2007 , 2009 ) and provide
potential confounding e ects in the present study. However, as the aim of
the research was to provide a real-world examination (where changing
ambient light conditions and background colors will result in a changing
perception of color) of the e ects of di erent, commercially available jer-
sey colors to supplement the more carefully controlled laboratory-based
research, then this was unavoidable. Clearly, if future researchers are to
establish the speci c e ects of uniform color and the speci c mechanisms
through which color exerts its e ects, greater control of factors such as
uniform color qualities (hue, saturation, and lightness), background qual-
ities (to more fully explore the role of contrast and visibility), and partici-
pant attention patterns is required. In addition, if the evolutionary basis of
the e ects of red are to be established, then more research is warranted to
explore the extent to which these e ects are seen across genders and cul-
tures. If the e ect is due to evolutionary pressures, then it can be predicted
that the e ect would be relatively invariant across cultures and be stron-
ger in males than in females, as red is proposed to have evolved as a signal
of male dominance and status ( Hill & Barton, 2005 ). As it stands, although
the evidence supporting the potential e ect of red uniforms continues to
grow, much research is still needed to explore why red exerts an in uence.
REFERENCES
A LLEN , M. S. , GREENLEES , I. , & JONES , M. V. ( 2011 ) An investigation of the ve-factor
model of personality and coping behaviour in sport . Journal of Sports Sciences , 29 ,
841 - 850 .
A LLEN , M. S. , & JONES , M. V. ( 2012 ) The home advantage over the rst 20 seasons
of the English Premier League: e ects of shirt colour, team ability and
time trends . International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. DOI:
10.1080/1612197X.2012.756230 .
A TRILL , M. J. , GRESTY , K. A. , HILL , R. A. , & BARTON , R. A. ( 2008 ) Red shirt color is associ-
ated with long-term team success in English football . Journal of Sports Sciences , 26 ,
577 - 582 .
B AKKER , F . C . , O UDEJANS , R. R. D. , BINSCH , O. , & VA N DER KAMP , J. ( 2006 ) Penalty shooting
and gaze behaviour . International Journal of Sport Psychology , 37 , 265 - 280 .
B ARGH , J. A. , & CHARTRAND , T. L. ( 2000 ) The mind in the middle: a practical guide to
priming and automaticity research . In H. T. Reis & C. M. Judd ( Eds. ), Handbook of
01-PMS_Greenlees_130033.indd 801-PMS_Greenlees_130033.indd 8 05/11/13 8:13 AM05/11/13 8:13 AM
COLORED UNIFORMS, EFFECTS 9
research methods in social and personality psychology. New York : Cambridge Univer.
Press . Pp . 253 - 285 .
E LLIOT , A. J. , MAIER , M. A. , BINSER , M. J. , FRIEDMAN , R. , & PEKRUN , R. ( 2009 ) The e ect of
red on avoidance behavior in achievement contexts . Personality and Social Psychol-
ogy Bulletin , 35 , 365 - 375 .
E LLIOT , A. J. , MAIER , M. A. , MOLLER , A. C. , FRIEDMAN , R. , & MEINHARDT , J . ( 2007 ) Color and
psychological functioning: the e ect of red on performance attainment . Journal of
Experimental Psychology: General , 1 , 154 - 168 .
F EHRMAN , K. R., & FEHRMAN , C. ( 2004 ) Color: the secret in uence. ( 2 nd ed. ) Upper Saddle
River, NJ : Prentice Hall .
F ELTMAN , R. , & ELLIOT , A. J. ( 2011 ) The in uence of red on perceptions of relative domi-
nance and threat in a competitive context . Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology ,
33 , 308 - 314 .
F ELTZ , D. L. , & CHASE , M. A. ( 1998 ) The measurement of self-e cacy and con dence in
sport . In J. Duda ( Ed. ), Advances in sport and exercise psychology measurement. Mor-
gantown, WV : Fitness Information Technology . Pp . 65 - 80 .
F IELD , A. ( 2009 ) Discovering statistics using SPSS. ( 3rd ed. ) London : Sage .
F RANK , M. G. , & GILOVICH , T. ( 1988 ) The dark side of self- and social perception: black
uniforms and aggression in professional sports . Journal of Personal Social Psychol-
ogy , 54 , 74 - 85 .
G ARCÍA-RUBIO , M. A. , PICAZO-TADEO , A. J. , & GONZÁLEZ-GÓMEZ , F. ( 2011 ) Does a red shirt
improve sporting performance? Evidence from Spanish football . Applied Econom-
ics Letters , 18 , 1001 - 1004 .
G REENLEES , I . , L EYLAND , A. , THELWELL , R. , & FILBY , W. ( 2008 ) Soccer penalty takers' uni-
form colour and pre-penalty kick gaze a ect the impressions formed of them by
opposing goalkeepers . Journal of Sports Sciences , 26 , 569 - 576 .
H AGEMANN , N . , S TRAUSS , B. , & LEISSING , J. ( 2008 ) When the referee sees red . Psychological
Science , 19 , 769 - 771 .
H ILL , R. A. , & BARTON , R. A. ( 2005 ) Red enhances human performance in contests .
Nature , 435 , 293 .
K OCHER , M. G. , & SUTTER , M. ( 2008 ) Shirt colour and team performance in football . In
P. Andersson , P. Ayton , & C. Schmidt ( Eds. ), Myths and facts about football: the eco-
nomics and psychology of the world's greatest sport. Newcastle : Cambridge Scholars
Publishing . Pp . 125 - 131 .
M AIER , M. A. , ELLIOT , A. J. , & LICHTENFELD , S. ( 2008 ) Mediation of the negative e ect
of red on intellectual performance . Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin , 34 ,
1530 - 1540 .
N AKAGAWA , S. ( 2004 ) A farewell to Bonferroni: the problems of low statistical power and
publication bias . Behavioral Ecology , 15 , 1044 - 1045 .
P RYKE , S. R. , & GRIFFITH , S. C. ( 2006 ) Red dominates black: agonistic signalling among
head morphs in the colour polymporphic Gouldian nch . Proceedings of the Royal
Society of London B , 273 , 949 - 957 .
R OWE , C . , H ARRIS , J. M. , & ROBERTS , S. C. ( 2005 ) Seeing red? Putting sportswear in context .
Nature , 437 , E10 .
S ETCHELL , J. M. , & WICKINGS , E. J. ( 2005 ) Dominance, status signals and coloration in male
mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx). Ethology , 111 , 25 - 50 .
01-PMS_Greenlees_130033.indd 901-PMS_Greenlees_130033.indd 9 05/11/13 8:13 AM05/11/13 8:13 AM
I. A. GREENLEES, ET AL.
10
S OLDAT , A. S. , SINCLAIR , R. C. , & MARK , M. M. ( 1997 ) Color as an environmental pro-
cessing cue: external a ective cues can directly a ect processing strategy without
a ecting mood . Social Cognition , 15 , 55 - 71 .
S OROKOWSKI , P . , & S ZMAJKE , A. ( 2011 ) The in uence of the ‘red win’ e ect in sports: a
hypothesis of erroneous perception of opponents dressed in red - preliminary test .
Human Movement , 12 , 367 - 373 .
W ILSON , M. R. , WOOD , G. , & VINE , S. J. ( 2009 ) Anxiety, attentional control and perfor-
mance impairment in penalty kicks . Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology , 31 , 761 -
775 .
Accepted June 10 , 2013 .
01-PMS_Greenlees_130033.indd 1001-PMS_Greenlees_130033.indd 10 05/11/13 8:13 AM05/11/13 8:13 AM
... Another one associates similar responses in human with black (Frank and Gilovich 1988). A number of empirical works on association of color with different psychological attributes indicated that colors with longer wavelengths (like red) have enhanced the arousal level of the component in consideration (see (Elliot 2015) for a more detailed review): From showing attentional advantage in studies regarding color and selective attention (Buechner et al. 2014) to being a performance enhancing factor in sports (Hill and Barton 2005;Greenlees et al. 2013;Caldwell and Burger 2011). Again, despite showing a restricting effect in intellectual performance (Elliot et al. 2007;Shi et al. 2015), Red has been found to enhance attraction when worn by the opposite sex (Elliot and Niesta 2008;Stephen and McKeegan 2010). ...
Article
Full-text available
Color perception is a major guiding factor in the evolutionary process of human civilization, but most of the neurological background of the same are yet unknown. This work attempts to address this area with an EEG based neuro-cognitive study on response of brain to different color stimuli. With respect to a Grey baseline seven colors of the VIBGYOR were shown to 16 participants with normal color vision and corresponding EEG signals from different lobes (Frontal, Occipital & Parietal) were recorded. In an attempt to quantify the brain response while watching these colors, the corresponding EEG signals were analysed using two of the latest state of the art non-linear techniques (MFDFA and MFDXA) of dealing complex time series. MFDFA revealed that for all the participants the spectral width, and hence the complexity of the EEG signals, reaches a maximum while viewing color Blue, followed by colors Red and Green in all the brain lobes. MFDXA, on the other hand, suggests a lower degree of inter and intra lobe correlation while watching the VIBGYOR colors compared to baseline Grey, hinting towards a post processing of visual information. We hope that along with the novelty of methodologies, the unique outcomes of this study may leave a long term impact in the domain of color perception research.
... After a foul play, the person is about to shoot the relationship-clinching penalty. The AR-HMD colors the goalkeeper's red jersey blue, making them appear less dominant and giving the player a higher chance of scoring [14] (see Figure 1 (2)). The AR-HMD also colors the person's own shoes and clothes red to make them feel more dominant [49]. ...
... For example, goalkeepers in a simulation task reported lower expectancies of saving penalties when penalty takers were wearing red than when they were wearing white (Greenlees, Leyland, Thelwell, & Filby, 2008). In addition, penalty takers scored fewer penalties when facing goalkeepers wearing red compared to those wearing blue and green (Greenlees, Eynon, & Thelwell, 2013). Even viewers appear to be affected, as referees and spectators with high understanding of football rules reportedly judged tackles from behind more harshly when players were wearing red (Hagemann, Strauss, & Leissing, 2008;Krenn, 2014). ...
Article
Full-text available
The effect of colour on different aspects of performance has been the subject of substantial research interest, and red had been shown to have varying effects on not only performance, but perceptions as well. This study examined the effect of apparel colour on self-predicted and actual motor performance. Thirty-six young adults (18 females, 18 males; 20.4 SD 1.32 years old), who had no experience in football, performed a task consisting of an agility ladder drill and football shooting, in each of three bib colours (red, blue, black). Self-predicted and actual performances were measured on the dimensions of shooting accuracy and kicking power. A significant effect of colour on self-predicted shooting accuracy was found. Participants expected themselves to shoot less accurately when they were wearing a red bib, compared to when wearing blue and black bibs. No effect of colour on actual performance was found and no significant interaction was found between colour and sex. The findings suggest that wearing red could reduce users' expectations of their performance in a novel motor task; there is no effect on actual performance.
... These judgements however can be shaped by contextual factors, such as foul judgements being influenced by previous decisions (Plessner & Betsch, 2001), home advantage (Courneya & Carron, 1992), crowd noise (Nevill, Balmer, & Williams, 2002;Unkelbach & Memmert, 2010), and even jersey colour (Frank & Gilovich, 1988;Greenlees, Eynon, & Thelwell, 2013;Hagemann, Strauss, & Leißing, 2008). For instance, borderline pitch calls in baseball are influenced by pitch/ball counts such that a borderline pitch is more likely to be judged a ball if strikes have been called previously or as a strike if balls have been called (MacMahon & Starkes, 2008). ...
Article
Objectives Contextual factors can influence the way sports officials apply unambiguous rules. The aim of this study was to better understand the leg-before-wicket (LBW) decision-making behaviour of elite cricket umpires and determine whether their behaviour changes according to the format of the game in which they are adjudicating. Methods LBW decisions (n = 5578) from actual elite level cricket matches in Australia between 2009 and 2016 were analysed using a signal detection paradigm. Umpire sensitivity (A) and response bias (B) were compared to chance performance in three formats of the game: Four-day, One-day, and T20. Mixed effects models assessed sensitivity and response bias differences between match types. Results Umpires were able to differentiate between “out” and “not out” appeals to a high standard but were conservative and had a bias to respond “not out” in all formats of the game. Umpires were less accurate in the shorter formats of the game, particularly T20 cricket and were also significantly more conservative in T20 compared to Four-day Matches. Conclusions Cricket umpires are conservative and are highly accurate LBW decision makers. However, differences in their judgments were associated with different match formats. The unique task goals and contextual pressures afforded by the shorter formats of the game, particularly T20, may account for the observed performance differences we see here.
... In the evolving and provocative research into uniform colour and game outcome in elite sport (Allen & Jones, 2014;Attrill, Gresty, Hill, & Barton, 2008;Barton & Hill, 2005;Caldwell & Burger, 2011;García-Rubio, Picazo-Tadeo, & González-Gómez, 2011;Goldschmied & Lucena, 2018;Greenlees, Eynon, & Thelwell, 2013;Kocher & Sutter, 2008;Piatti, Savage, & Torgler, 2012;Pollet & Peperkoorn, 2013;Webster, Urland, & Correll, 2012), one category is notably amissthe one exploring the effect in women. ...
Article
Full-text available
Efforts to research the link between uniform colors and performance in sport have gained momentum in recent years demonstrating a red superiority effect. The current investigation identified a gender gap in participation between laboratory experimental studies of performance, which are dominated by women participants, and archival game analysis research, which is almost exclusively conducted in elite men’s sports. To address this disparity, we conducted the first dedicated exploration of uniform colors with women’s American collegiate basketball teams during the national annual tournament (NCAA) in a period spanning eight seasons (2012-19). In contrast to the evidence from experimental research, we failed to detect an effect and the results remained null when several colors were tested and ranking was considered. Based on the findings, we conclude with mounting confidence that uniform colors do not exert influence over winning in relatively long-duration, low aggression team sports with substantial physical contact. We discuss the results in relationship to the color-in-context theory (Elliot & Maier, 2012) and highlight its shortcomings pertaining to sex as a moderator.
... A growing body of literature also highlights the importance of various aspects of NVBs such as clothing/uniform advantages in penalty shootouts (Greenlees, Eynon, & Thelwell, 2013), nonverbal communication of confidence in soccer referees (Furley & Schweizer, 2016), and the impact of NVBs on outcome expectations of tennis players (Greenlees, Buscombe, Thelwell, Holder, & Rimmer, 2005). Indeed, NVBs are important for facilitating team coordination, as athletes use hand signals, body gestures, and facial expressions to share tactics and information to coordinate their actions when verbal communication is not possible or desirable (Eccles & Tenen- baum, 2004). ...
Article
The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between nonverbal communication and team success in real-time professional volleyball games. The sample included the top four and bottom four teams from the Turkish Men’s Volleyball 1st League from the 2016–2017 season. The development of a coding scheme for nonverbal behaviours (NVBs) was informed by the extant literature and interviews with volleyball experts (n = 5). Video recordings of 24 matches were analysed under three conditions for each team (a win, a loss, and a tie-break game). The findings indicated that successful teams displayed a greater amount of NVBs in total, and used significantly more instructional and supportive NVBs than their less successful counterparts. In addition, successful teams demonstrated more frequent use of instructional NVBs during the games that they won, more supportive behaviours when they lost, and both of these behaviours during tie-break games. Results from the present study highlight the different uses of NVBs between successful and less successful professional volleyball teams, which has both theoretical and practical implications. Keywords: nonverbal communication; team success; volleyball; behavioural observation
Article
Full-text available
Red is perceived as a "winning color", which may influence actual and perceived performances in sports, but little effort has been done to assess the added value on colored foot insoles in basketball movements. This study examined if colored foot insole would influence perceived comfort and lower extremity biomechanics during drop landing. Nineteen male basketball players performed drop landing trials with different insoles (red arch-support, white arch-support, and white-flat) and landing heights (0.45 and 0.61 m). Two-way (Insole x Height) ANOVAs with repeated measures were performed on each of the knee and ankle angles and moments variables. Wearing red arch-support insoles induced better perception of forefoot and rearfoot cushioning and overall comfort but smaller plantarflexion moment than the white-flat insoles (p < 0.05). Increased landing height was related to higher ground reaction loading, sagittal flexion angles, range of motion, and joint moments but smaller ankle eversion (p < 0.05). Findings indicate that foot insoles might have influenced comfort perception and joint kinetics, but not joint kinematics. The use of red color in foot insoles could potentially maximize the effectiveness of foot insoles in a way that alters comfort perception and motor control during landing, with implications for risk of injury.
Article
Full-text available
The intention to avoid a thought or action may ironically increase the tendency to engage in this thought or action. We show that in penalty shooting in soccer unwanted effects are mediated by changes in gaze behavior. Generally in far aiming, people look at where they aim, and they aim at where they look. With an indoor soccer-penalty task we first confirm this relationship. Next, we show that negatively formulated instructions not to shoot within reach of the keeper or outside the goal often direct the player's gaze to the area to-he-avoided, resulting in more unsuccessful shots. When visual attention is drawn to the to-be-avoided area there is probably not sufficient time to redirect attention to the proper location necessary for accurate aiming. These findings indicate that unwanted effects following the persistent wish not to miss may increase the probability of missing a decisive penalty.
Article
Full-text available
Purpose. Psychological research indicates that, in contact sports, the results of sports competitions might be influenced by the color of an athlete's uniform (especially the color red). However, previous research has not yet experimentally verified whether this hypothesis might be a consequence of perceptual distortion caused by moving objects of a certain color, such as red. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the effect of an object's color on the efficiency of performing simple tasks in a basic computer game. Methods. 225 participants aged between 16 and 30 years played nine different "arcade" games of skill, differed by the rules and colors used in the game, where the subjects were tested on their ability to hit, escape from, or outmaneuver certain objects of a certain color (either blue, red or black). The score achieved was then correlated to what effect the color of the objects had on a subject's visual perception. Results. It was found that the study participants were able to hit red moving objects significantly better than blue and black objects. No difference was found in the ability to avoid elements, in all three colors. Conclusions. The obtained result finds that in some games of skill, the color of the used stimulus might significantly influence perceptual efficiency and, therefore, the results and performance of individuals. The results of our study suggest that future research is needed in investigating the meaning and role of colors, as this may be very important, in various sports. The colors used in sports equipment, uniforms, environment, etc., should be empirically verified if they can influence the results of sports competitions.
Article
Full-text available
This study explored the relationship between teams' home shirt colour and the magnitude of the home advantage in English professional soccer. Secondary aims were to explore the consistency of the home advantage over time and the relationship between the home advantage and team ability. Archival data from 7720 matches contested over the first 20 seasons of the English Premier League were analysed. The data show that teams wearing red are more successful than teams wearing other colours, and that teams are more successful in home games than in away games (home advantage index = 0.608). The home advantage has also remained consistent over time (1992/1993-2011/2012) and is greater in low-ability teams (teams with lower league positions) than in high-ability teams. After controlling for team ability, it was found that teams opting for red shirts in their home games did not show a greater home advantage than teams opting for other colour shirts. Two possibilities for this finding are offered: (1) shirt colour is not a contributing factor to team success, or (2) changes in psychological functioning associated with viewing or wearing red stay with team members after the shirt colour has been changed. It is recommended that researchers continue to explore the effect of shirt colour on athlete and team behaviour and further explore how team ability can affect the magnitude of the home-field advantage.
Article
Full-text available
We argue that environmental cues provide affective information that directly influences processing strategy, with positively valenced (i.e., happy) cues leading to nonsystematic processing and negatively valenced (i.e., sad) cues leading to systematic processing. Two studies addressed this issue. In Study 1, participants were exposed to a set of problem solving tasks printed on either red, white, or blue paper and under the condition of either low or high motivation to process. The results showed that in the low motivation condition the blue and white paper participants outperformed the red paper participants, while in the high motivation condition there were no effects. Further, there were no differences in mood among the groups, although results from a pilot study indicated that the red paper was perceived as communicating happiness relative to the blue paper. These results suggest that an environmental cue, such as color, can directly affect processing strategy in low motivation participants. In Study ...
Article
Full-text available
Recent research has linked red shirts to sporting success. In this article, we analyse the relationship between the colour red and sporting performance in the Spanish Professional Football League. Our foremost conclusion is that once the effect of the different endowments of resources and the ability of managers have been discounted, teams with red shirts do not show greater performance than teams wearing shirts of other colours.
Article
Full-text available
The shirt colour worn by sportsmen can affect the behaviour of the competitors, but Hill and Barton show that it may also influence the outcome of contests. By analysing the results of men's combat sports from the Athens 2004 Olympics, they found that more matches were won by fighters wearing red outfits than by those wearing blue; they suggest that red might confer success because it is a sign of dominance in many animal species and could signal aggression in human contests. Here we use another data set from the 2004 Olympics to show that similar winning biases occur in contests in which neither contestant wears red, indicating that a different mechanism may be responsible for these effects.
Article
Full-text available
The current study sought to test the predictions of attentional control theory (ACT) in a sporting environment. Fourteen experienced footballers took penalty kicks under low- and high-threat counterbalanced conditions while wearing a gaze registration system. Fixations to target locations (goalkeeper and goal area) were determined using frame-by-frame analysis. When anxious, footballers made faster first fixations and fixated for significantly longer toward the goalkeeper. This disruption in gaze behavior brought about significant reductions in shooting accuracy, with shots becoming significantly centralized and within the goalkeeper's reach. These findings support the predictions of ACT, as anxious participants were more likely to focus on the "threatening" goalkeeper, owing to an increased influence of the stimulus-driven attentional control system.
Article
Where individuals contest access to a resource, escalated physical fighting presents a risk to all involved. The requirement for mechanisms of conflict management has led to the evolution of a variety of decision rules and signals that act to reduce the frequency of aggression during competitive encounters. We examined strategies of conflict management in male mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx) living in two semi-free-ranging groups in Gabon. Adult male mandrills are large (31 kg), with long canines, making the costs of conflict potentially very high. We found that males formed dominance hierarchies, but that male–male relationships were characterized by avoidance, appeasement and ignoring. Fights were rare, but could result in death. Examination of the relationship between dominance and signaling showed that males use facial and gestural signals to communicate dominance and subordinance, avoiding escalated conflict. Male mandrills also possess rank-dependent red coloration on the face, rump and genitalia, and we examined the hypothesis that this coloration acts as a ‘badge of status’, communicating male fighting ability to other males. If this is the case, then similarity in color should lead to higher dyadic rates of aggression, while males that differ markedly should resolve encounters quickly, with the paler individual retreating. Indeed, appeasement (the ‘grin’ display), threats, fights and tense ‘stand-off’ encounters were significantly more frequent between similarly colored males, while clear submission was more frequent where color differences were large. We conclude that male mandrills employ both formal behavioral indicators of dominance and of subordination, and may also use relative brightness of red coloration to facilitate the assessment of individual differences in fighting ability, thereby regulating the degree of costly, escalated conflict between well-armed males.
Article
Recent research has revealed that a person or team wearing red is more likely to win a physical contest than a person or team wearing another color. In the present research, we examined whether red influences perceptions of relative dominance and threat in an imagined same-sex competitive context, and did so attending to the distinction between wearing red oneself and viewing red on an opponent. Results revealed a bidirectional effect: wearing red enhanced perceptions of one's relative dominance and threat, and viewing an opponent in red enhanced perceptions of the opponent's relative dominance and threat. These effects were observed across sex, and participants seemed unaware of the influence of red on their responses. Our findings lead to practical suggestions regarding the use of colored attire in sport contexts, and add to an emerging, provocative literature indicating that red has a subtle but important influence on psychological functioning.
Article
Coping strategies are important for performance in sport and individual differences may contribute to the coping strategies adopted by athletes. In this study, we explored the main and interactive effects of the big five personality dimensions on sport-related coping and compared personality profiles of discrete groups of athletes. Altogether, 253 athletes (mean age 21.1 years, s = 3.7) completed the NEO-FFI (Costa & McCrae, 19927. Costa , P. T. and McCrae , R. R. 1992. Revised NEO personality inventory and NEO five-factor inventory: Professional manual, Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources. View all references), and the Coping Function Questionnaire for Sport (Kowalski & Crocker, 200126. Kowalski , K. C. and Crocker , P. R. E. 2001. Development and validation of the Coping Function Questionnaire for adolescents in sport. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 23: 136–155. [Web of Science ®], [CSA]View all references). Results showed that extraverted athletes, who were also emotionally stable and open to new experiences (a three-way interaction effect), reported a greater use of problem-focused coping strategies. Conscientious athletes (main effect), and athletes displaying high levels of extraversion, openness, and agreeableness (a three-way interaction effect), reported a greater use of emotion-focused coping strategies, and athletes with low levels of openness, or high levels of neuroticism (main effects), reported a greater use of avoidance coping strategies. Different personality characteristics were observed between higher-level and lower-level athletes, between men and women athletes, and between individual and team sport athletes. These findings suggest that the five-factor model of personality can help distinguish various levels of athletic involvement and can help identify the coping strategies athletes are likely to adopt during participation.