The Effect of Uniform Color on Judging Athletes’ Aggressiveness, Fairness, and Chance of Winning

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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In the current study we questioned the impact of uniform color in boxing, taekwondo and wrestling. On 18 photos showing two athletes competing, the hue of each uniform was modified to blue, green or red. For each photo, six color conditions were generated (blue-red, blue-green, green-red and vice versa). In three experiments these 108 photos were randomly presented. Participants (N = 210) had to select the athlete that seemed to be more aggressive, fairer or more likely to win the fight. Results revealed that athletes wearing red in boxing and wrestling were judged more aggressive and more likely to win than athletes wearing blue or green uniforms. In addition, athletes wearing green were judged fairer in boxing and wrestling than athletes wearing red. In taekwondo we did not find any significant impact of uniform color. Results suggest that uniform color in combat sports carries specific meanings that affect others’ judgments.

Bjoern Krenn is with the Centre for Sport Science and University Sports Department of Sports Sciences, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

Address author correspondence to Bjoern Krenn at bjoern.krenn@univie.ac.at.
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