Baker-Miller Pink aka Drunk Tank Pink (I'll get to that later) is known to act as human Kryptonite. This color calms and weakens people who are exposed to it. The effect lasts 15-30 minutes with longer exposures having the opposite effect of increased violence. You might think this is just a simple social environmental bias against the color pink. That theory doesn't pan out because (and this is where it gets weird) the calming physiological effects have been noted in color blind individuals too.
|Don't stare at this too long or you might lose your superpowers!|
Dr. Alexander Schauss, Ph.D., director of the American Institute for Bio-social Research, was the first to report the suppression of angry, antagonistic, and anxiety ridden behavior among prisoners:
"Even if a person tries to be angry or aggressive in the presence of pink, he can't. The heart muscles can’t race fast enough. It’s a tranquilizing color that saps your energy. Even the color-blind are tranquilized by pink rooms."The legendary Iowa football coach, Hayden Fry took this new information to the nth degree. He ordered the visiting team's locker-room at Iowa’s Kinnick Stadium be painted Drunk Tank Pink in order to give his team the advantage from the get go. Some teams were so bothered by this that they covered the walls with newspaper before the players went into the locker-room. Despite protests and numerous legal battles the locker-room remains pink today. Before you go out and paint your rival's house pink you should know the research is anything but conclusive. Then again who knows, it just might give you the edge you need!
"Research conducted during the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens showed that competitors in taekwondo, boxing and wrestling who wore red clothing or body protection had a higher chance of winning. The effect wasn't large, but when the statistics were combined across all these sports it was undeniable – wearing red seemed to give a slightly better chance of winning gold. The effect has since been shown for other sports, such as football."Unfortunately the story gets a little fuzzier so don't go out and buy a bunch of red workout gear just yet. It seems that referees and umpires are more likely to side with the player wearing red than any other color (see video below). In other words, the red adorned athlete may not be better, the judges just perceive him as the superior competitor. Moreover, it seems likely the color red triggers an unconscious fear in one's opponent. In the wild, primates exhibiting the most red coloring (on the chest or face) when facing an opponent will exude dominance and usually get his challenger to back down. Does it seem like a stretch to attribute this unconscious effect on wild primates to their bigger brained hairless cousins, Homo sapiens sapiens?
It won't hurt to wear the color red at your next sporting event and if you get your opponent to wear Drunk Tank Pink all the better.
1. Psycnet - The Color Red Enhances Force Output
2. The Effects Of Baker Miller Pink On Biological Physical and Cognitive
3. Science Daily: Red Increases Speed & Strength
4. Nature: Red Enhances Human Performance
5. Nature: Red is a Recipe for Sporting Success
6. Drunk Tank Pink by Adam Alter