Do red objects enhance sexual attractiveness? No evidence from two large replications

Thomas V. Pollet*, Joanne Costello, Lotte Groeneboom, L.S. Peperkoorn, Junhui Wu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Color has been argued to exert a powerful effect on motivation and behavior. This has led researchers, most notably in social psychology, to examine the effects of color on perceptions of (sexual) attractiveness. Building on a body of work on the ‘romantic red effect’, Lin (2014) found evidence that the color of a laptop influenced ratings of a woman's sexual attractiveness. If this holds true, then color effects could have profound importance for the marketing of consumer products such as laptops. Here we present two replications, one in the Netherlands and one in China, investigating whether red products increase perceived attractiveness. Across two studies, totaling 481 participants, we found no support for the claim that red products enhance sexual attractiveness. We discuss the implications for research on color and attractiveness and its implications for consumer research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10.1016/j.displa.2018.10.008
Pages (from-to)23-29
Number of pages7
JournalDisplays
Volume56
Issue numberJanuary 2019
Early online date28 Oct 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019

Keywords

  • Product marketing
  • Color
  • Perception
  • Colored products
  • Attractiveness
  • Red effect

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