Men in red appear angry and in charge: Research

PARIS (AFP) - Bulls have known it forever, but scientists are now saying that men dressed in red appear angrier and more dominant than those in blue or grey.

The study published on Wednesday in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters was based on the reactions of both men and women to men photographed in different coloured clothing.

"Men wearing red were rated as more aggressive and more dominant and were more often categorised as 'angry' than targets wearing grey or blue," said the researchers from Durham University in Britain.

Previous research had shown wearing red could increase one's chances of winning a sports contest, and is also a mark of dominance in other species.

But the new research shows associations between clothing colour and how a person is perceived, with red apparently triggering certain mental associations in humans.

A hundred people, half of them male and half female, were asked to look at photos of men dressed in red, blue and grey and asked to rate them on how aggressive and authoritarian they seemed to be, as well as their apparent emotional state.

Both men and women saw anger and aggression in the red-wearing men. But only the male viewers in the study also saw dominance in the photos of those wearing red clothes.

Grey and blue on the other hand transmitted no feelings of aggression or authority to either the men or the women in the study.

"This suggests that the colour red may be a cue used to predict propensity for dominance and aggression in human males," the study said.