I’m Not Only the Red Club President, I’m a Client

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I am the founder and president of the Red Club for Men, and while it has been my pleasure to lead this auspicious group in our field of endeavor for the last couple years, I am sorry to announce that the club is now formally disbanded.

It all began two years ago when a colleague, Andrew Elliot from the University of Rochester, revealed to me his new unpublished findings.

Photographs of men, he found, are deemed more attractive by women (but not men) when surrounded with red, or when wearing red. The red-dress phenomenon is not just a female thing. (The Marylin Monroe blown-up skirt phenomenon, on the other hand, is likely just a female thing.)

As the words left his lips, I instantly realized the magnitude of his discovery.

And I also immediately apprehended that Elliot did not appreciate his own discovery. I could discern this because Elliot was not at that moment wearing red.

So I vowed that someone of Elliot’s frame of mind did not deserve to hold such power. He would surely let the secret out, and if everyone knew about it, the world would become a sea of red-pimped-out men, and the power of red would be lost.

Andrew Elliot had to be stopped.

I gave away all my clothes, bought red ones, and formed the Red Club for Men.

Members made two oaths, one to employ the power of red to partially offset the paucity of female interest thus far in their lives, and the other to stop Andrew Elliot from ever publishing his findings.

Conformance to the first oath was easy. The problem was…we were so busy enjoying the fruits of wearing red for two years that we never got around to undermining Elliot’s publication attempts.

We were understandably devastated when Elliot’s paper recently appeared in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, and it got more press than most European national academies receive in a lifetime.

Alas, his and his coauthors’ article can be linked here: http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/xge-139-3-399.pdf

Why does red enhance attractiveness? Elliot’s research suggests it works through the perception of an enhanced status red gives.

This would appear to be consistent with my own research, where I have argued that color vision is all about the perception of the state — e.g., the emotion, mood, or physiological condition — of others, as seen via the spectral modulations on bare skin. (See http://www.changizi.com/colorface.pdf ) Red requires oxygenation, and is thus a signal of a healthy and strong individual.

As interested as I am in the role of color in our social interactions, though, we should not lose sight of what is important here: that red can help you attract women, and who cares why!

Guest Blogger Profile: MARK CHANGIZI is an evolutionary neurobiologist aiming to grasp the ultimate foundations underlying why we think, feel, and see as we do.  He earned his PhD at the University of Maryland, completed a prestigious Sloan-Swartz Postdoctoral Fellowship in Theoretical Neurobiology at Caltech, and then became an assistant professor in the Department of Cognitive Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. In 2010 he took the post of Director of Human Cognition at a new research institute called 2ai.  Mark’s latest books are THE VISION REVOLUTION (Benbella 2009) and HARNESSED: How Language and Music Mimicked Nature and Transformed Ape to Man (Benbella 2011). He is currently working on his fourth book, this one on creativity, called ALOOF: How Not Giving a Damn Maximizes Your Creativity.

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