In high-stakes politics and business, there are only two colors of ties: red and blue. Oh, sure, you might spot purple or yellow now and then, but those are clear statements of aloofness, be they calculated or careless.
Few world leaders or CEOs want to be seen as aloof.
But does it matter whether one wears red or blue? Yes, suggest several studies, including one published in the journal Science on Feb. 6, 2009. More on that in a moment.
First, some color:
During his first address to a joint session of Congress, President Donald Trump wore a blue and white striped tie. Seated behind Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Paul Ryan, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, both wore blue ties.
For his inauguration on Jan. 20, President Donald Trump wore a red tie with his dark suit, while outgoing President Barack Obama donned a blue tie. Their wives wore the reverse, with Michelle Obama in a red dress and Melania Trump wearing a powder blue ensemble.
In the first presidential debate of 2016, then-nominee Donald Trump donned a blue tie, while the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, wore a red suit. The Democrats may have decided on “red” during the election, as Clinton’s running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine donned a red tie during the first vice presidential debates on Oct. 4, while Trump’s running mate, then-Indiana governor Mike Pence sported a blue necktie
In President Obama’s first 11 days on the job, he wore only red and blue ties, observed Daily News reporter Joe Dziemianowicz. “Obama represents something different in politics, but he dresses the same as everyone else,” said Esquire senior fashion editor Wendell Brown. “Washington, D.C., is a strange place when it comes to style. All the emphasis is on fitting in.”
At the inauguration in January 2009, Obama and Joe Biden seemed to coordinate efforts: “For the inaugural festivities, both executives chose predictable dark gray suits, white dress shirts, enlivened by either baby blue or red necktie,” wrote Lisa Irazarry of The Star-Ledger in New Jersey. “As Obama wore a blue necktie on Monday and Biden wore his blue Tuesday, maybe they prearranged not to duplicate each other alternating necktie colors.”
Former President George H.W. Bush and former first lady Barbara Bush both had on plum overcoats and purple scarves at the inauguration. They can be aloof now. Plus, purple is associated with royalty and we do tend to treat our former presidents as such.
Where’s all this come from?
The ties to red and blue go way back. Neckties are said to be descended from the cravat and used throughout most of history, at least the portion during which humans have been fully clothed. Blue was once associated with the blue blood of British nobility, while red represented the red blood of the Guards.
Red has long been associated with love. And there’s some science to that, too. A study last year found red clothes on women makes men feel more amorous towards them. In sports, athletes wearing red are known to outperform their opponents, in part because referees cut the red-clad competitors some slack, researchers discovered.
Politicians, of course, love to gain advantages. Neckties are one way they try to do that.
As Washington Post columnist Tom Shales wrote of a televised Bush-Kerry presidential debate in 2004: “Bush wore his traditional blue necktie, though a darker shade than the usual robin’s-egg hue, and Kerry wore the classic TV-red necktie; red ties supposedly lend color to the face of whoever wears them, and if there’s anything the Massachusetts senator needs, it’s color.”
But wait, there’s more.
Red and blue are also thought by psychologists to improve brain performance and receptivity to advertising. The 2009 study in Science supports this idea. It also suggests nuances that world leaders and presidential candidates might want to know about, assuming one buys into the notion that presidential messages and speeches are essentially a form of advertising.
The study found that red is the most effective at enhancing our attention to detail, while blue is best at boosting our ability to think creatively.
“Previous research linked blue and red to enhanced cognitive performance, but disagreed on which provides the greatest boost,” said study leader Juliet Zhu of the University of British Columbia. “It really depends on the nature of the task.”
Zhu and colleagues tracked the performance of more than 600 people on cognitive tasks that required either creativity or attention to detail. Most experiments were conducted on computers with a screen that was red, blue or white.
Red boosted performance on detail-oriented tasks such as memory retrieval and proofreading up to 31 percent more than blue. For brainstorming and other creative tasks, blue cues prompted participants to produce twice as many creative outputs compared with red cues.
Why? Look around.
“Thanks to stop signs, emergency vehicles and teachers’ red pens, we associate red with danger, mistakes and caution,” Zhu said. “The avoidance motivation, or heightened state, that red activates makes us vigilant and thus helps us perform tasks where careful attention is required to produce a right or wrong answer.”
And the value of blue?
“Through associations with the sky, the ocean and water, most people associate blue with openness, peace and tranquility,” says Zhu, who conducted the research with UBC doctoral candidate Ravi Mehta. “The benign cues make people feel safe about being creative and exploratory. Not surprisingly it is people’s favorite color.”
Perhaps presidential candidate’s choice of red vs. blue neckties should be made more thoughtfully than they realize.
Source: Live Science
I have had good success eliminating a migraine prodrome aura. I cured it by using a special eye exercise. The procedure was intended to work the eyes and the visual centers of the brain harder than usual by forcing them to do a cross-eye fusion procedure. The speculation behind the possible success using this method was based upon a reported brain scan done during migraine attacks which showed an abnormal blood flow to the visual cortex located in the back of the brain. These cross-eye procedures force the brains visual centers to do far more work than is usually required of them and that forces the brain to allocate the blood flow in a different way from what they were doing to create the migraine aura.
This is an experimental procedure which I performed upon myself. I am only reporting what appeared to work for me and I do not necessarily suggesting that you try the experiment so any results you may have, good, bad or inconclusive are strictly upon your own recognizance. However, below are the cross-eye charts which I used successfully to eliminate my visual hallucinations in about three minutes. Usually it takes about 30 to 50 minutes in a dark room with a hot or cold bag on the back of my head to clear up the aura. I have tried both the hot and cold treatments but found that tapping the back of the head worked better. But this cross-eye treatment worked best of all.
What works for me is to look cross-eyed at my finger tip held between the flags about half way to the screen and then to slowly move it towards and away from my face while looking at my finger tip and thinking about the dot. At some point the central dots from the opposite fields fuse into one. When they fuse I slowly lower my finger out of sight while watching the dot. And then in about twenty seconds the light show begins. With Red-green target #36 I like to move my stare between the various smaller dots around the center and to slowly read the numbers and letters. If my eyes uncross I return my finger to the position where fusion took place and can usually get the fusion back in a few seconds.
I created these pictures for the cross-eye fusion experiments but I discovered that they confused my visual centers so much that the effort of fusion soon forced my brain to abandon migraine auras and give its attention to the fusion. Even under normal non-aura brain functioning these pictures created highly volatile liable images which will shift quickly through a variety of colors and golden blends.
For more detail on these cross-eye fusion experiments go to the previous mind fuzing experiments. Here is a group of similar eye experiments with more instructions on how to cross your eyes: Eye Experiments.
Please remember these are experiments and you are totally responsible for any strange effects or results. I intended them for learning how your perception works and how it sometimes does very strange and unexpected things.
Some of the ways the color red is used in the media and for design purposes:
- Red brings text and images to the foreground.
- Use it as an accent color to stimulate people to make quick decisions; it is a perfect color for ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Click Here’ buttons on Internet banners and websites.
- This color is also commonly associated with energy, so you can use it when promoting energy drinks, games, cars, items related to sports and high physical activity.
Submitted by Raetta Parker
Red keeps us rooted in the red energy of our planet. People who become detached or divorced from the planet tend to be those who abuse it. These people often display some of the negative qualities that are associated with red – selfishness and an interest only in personal, rather than global, survival and short-term security.
To be healthy in a long term sense, we need the color red to reconnect ourselves to the planet and support it as it supports us. For our personal development, the role involves taking responsibility for our own well being and survival as part of humanity as a whole, not being separate from it. Although often seen as a “green” issue, global and local conservation is also about survival, which is a red issue. Red and green issues are intrinsically linked as they are complementary colors.
Phrases like “red light district” and “scarlet woman” aptly describe the sexual nature of red. Some aspects of red behavior are not socially acceptable. Red together with black is associated with evil, for example in the archetypal “red devil” of medieval artists.
Blatant expression of emotion is not always easy to handle, whether it is sexuality, passion, anger or aggression. When expressing red emotions, the heart beats faster, the capillaries dilate and the skin becomes flushed and feels warm.
Red is thought of as an immediate color. This affects the thinking processes, causing restlessness and impatience. Red can result in very selfish behavior, a focus on personal needs and survival above everything else.
Sometimes the drive to survive is what fuels impulsive actions and rash comments. When these traits are managed well they create capable business people who are innovators and entrepreneurs, preferring to move from one project to another, getting an operation on its feet then moving on. They are gifted with being able to manifest new ideas. Often people with red traits are also renowned for their daring exploits, and they can be somewhat extroverted and boastful about their skills.
Red brings focus to the physicality of life, to the process of living. The color is symbolic of what we need to survive. Life should be grabbed and lived with a sense of immediacy. Without red we become listless and out of touch with reality and we fail to live our dreams in this world. Without the foundation that red gives us we just daydream of escaping into fantasy worlds.
Why is the color red so impressive? The answer lies in our tree-living past.
In the back of the vertebrate eyeball are two kinds of cells called rods and cones that respond to light. Cones take in a wide range of light, which means they recognize colors, and they are stimulated best during daylight. Rods respond to a narrower range of light (meaning only white light) but notice that light from far away and at night.
Isaac Newton was the first person to hold up a prism and refract white light into a rainbow of colors and realize that their might be variation in what the eye can see. Color comes at us in electromagnetic waves. When the wavelength of light is short we perceive purple or blue. Medium wavelengths of lights tickle the cones in an other way and we think green. Short light wavelengths make those cones stand up and dance as bright spots of yellow, orange and red.
Various animals distinguish only parts of that rainbow because their cones respond in different ways. Butterflies, for example, see into the ultraviolet end of the rainbow which allows them to see their own complex markings better than we can. Foxes and owls are basically color blind and it doesn’t matter because they are awake at night when the light spectrum is limited anyway.
Humans are lucky enough to be primates, animals with decent color vision, and we can thank monkeys for this special ability.
Long ago, primitive primates that resemble today’s lemurs and lorises saw only green and blue, the longer wavelengths of color. But when moneys evolved, around 34 million years ago, their cones became sensitive to even shorter wavelengths of color and they saw red.
And what a difference. With red, the forest comes alive. Instead of a blanket of bluish-green leaves, the world is suddenly accented with ripe red, yellow, and orange fruits, and even the leaves look different.
For a monkey leaping through the forest canopy, color vision would be an essential advantage. Unripe fruit doesn’t have enough carbs to sustain a hungry primate and they taste really sour. Unripe leaves not only taste bad, they are toxic and indigestible.
For the first humans foraging about the forest and savannah around 5 million years ago, it would have been be much more efficient to spot a ripe fruit or tuber than bite into a zillion just to get the right one. And so humans ended up with color vision even though we no longer live in trees.
But color is more than wavelengths, more than an indicator of ripeness, to us. Color has become symbolic, meaning it has meaning, and that meaning is highly cultural.
Chinese athletes and Chinese brides wear red because red is considered lucky. The U.S. athletes also wear red because that bright color is in the U.S. flag, and because designers of athletic wear, as well as scientists, know that red gets you noticed.
Instinctively, the occurrence of red makes us wary, as we connect it with heat and the potential danger of burning. Red lights are built into artificial fires to help simulate the coziness of a real fire. Too much heat and red burns, but at the right level it supports our lives and gives us comfort.
Being the color of blood, red has symbolic links with living and life. Spilling or losing blood brings illness and death. Wearing red, eating red foods and surrounding yourself with red increases the body’s ability to absorb iron, the metal that is responsible for the color of hemoglobin in the blood. The presence of hemoglobin allows the blood to absorb oxygen in the lungs and to transport that life-giving oxygen to the cells of the body.
Physical activity and the energy that that supports it also has a red vibration. If speed, danger, daring or courage are involved, the red quality of the activity increases. Mountaineers, racing car drivers, and stuntmen all have “red” careers.
Red is any of a number of similar colors evoked by light consisting predominantly of the longest wavelengths of light discernible by the human eye, in the wavelength range of roughly 625-740 nm. Longer wavelengths than this are called infrared, or below red and cannot be seen by the naked human eye. Red is used as one of the additive primary colors of light, complementary to cyan, in RGB color systems. Red is also one of the subtractive primary colors of RYB color space but not CMYK color space.
Red’s wavelength has been an important factor in laser technologies as red lasers, used in early compact disc technologies, are being replaced by blue lasers, as red’s longer wavelength causes the laser’s recordings to take up more space on the disc than blue lasers. Red light is also used to preserve night vision in low-light or night-time situations, as the rod cells in the human eye aren’t sensitive to red. Red is used as one of the additive primary colors of light, complementary to cyan, in RGB color systems. Red is also one of the subtractive primary colors of RYB color space but not CMYK color space.
One common use of red as an additive primary color is in the RGB color model. Because “red” is not by itself standardized, color mixtures based on red are not exact specifications of color either. In order to produce exact colors the color red needs to be defined in terms of an absolute color space such as sRGB. As used in computer monitors and television screens, red is very variable, but some systems may apply color correction (so that a standardized “red” is produced that is not in fact full intensity of only the red colorant).
A red filter used in black and white photography increases contrast in most scenes. For example, combined with a polarizer, it can turn the sky black. Films simulating the effects of infrared film (such as Ilford’s SFX 200) do so by being much more sensitive to red than to other colors. Red illumination was (and sometimes still is) used as a “safelight” while working in a darkroom, as it does not expose most photographic paper and some films. Though many more modern darkrooms use an amber safelight, red illumination is closely associated with the darkroom in the public mind.
Source” I’m not sure where I found this information.
Red may be the color of love for a reason: It makes men feel more amorous towards women, a new study reports.
From ancient rituals to those red paper lace hearts on Valentines, red has been tied to carnal passions and romance in many cultures over the course of history.
In five psychological experiments, University of Rochester psychologists tested how different colors affected men’s attitudes towards women.
In one experiment, test subjects were shown a picture of a woman that was framed by either a red or white border and asked to answer a series of questions, such as: “How pretty do you think this person is?” Other experiments contrasted red with gray, green or blue (keeping saturation and brightness levels the same between the different hues).
In the final study, the shirt of the woman in the photo was digitally colored red or blue. In this experiment, men were questioned not only about their attraction to the woman, but about how they would plan a hypothetical date with her. For example, one question asked: “Imagine that you are going on a date with this person and have $100 in your wallet. How much would you be willing to spend on your date?”
In all the experiments, women shown framed by or wearing red were rated significantly more attractive and sexually desirable by men than the exact same women shown with other colors.
When wearing red, women were also more likely to be treated to a more expensive outing.
“It’s fascinating to find that something as ubiquitous as color can be having an effect on our behavior without our awareness,” said study team member Andrew Elliot.
The study, detailed in the Oct. 28 online edition of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, is said to be the first to scientifically document the effects of color on behavior in relationships.
Elliot and his co-author Daniela Niesta said the effect could be due to societal conditioning, though they attribute it to deeper biological roots because nonhuman male primates, such as baboons and chimpanzees, are known to be attracted to females displaying red.
The red effect applied only to males and only to their perceptions of attractiveness; it did not change their ratings of the pictured women in terms of likability, intelligence or kindness.
Other research suggests that the effect of color depends on the context. In a previous study, Elliot and his colleagues showed that seeing red in competitive situations, such as sporting events, leads to worse performance. Another recent study suggests that referees favor red-clad competitors because of a subconscious bias for the color.
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