Seeing Red


Educators, you may not want to wear that red blouse on exam day if you want to give your students a fighting chance at passing. According to a recent study done by researchers at the University of Rochester, introducing the color red—even a “hint” or “flash” of it—prior to administering a test can negatively affect your students’ performance.

These researchers have bridged the color red with “avoidance motivation” which means the aesthetic value of the bold color may cause the brain to go into hibernation. Red is associated with danger, blood-letting, stop signs, not to mention that ugly red marker teachers are so fond of using. While red uniforms give a psychological edge in sports, sitting next to a person who is wearing red while taking a test may do anything but.

Here’s what I’m thinking: if you find yourself in a “testy” situation, slug down some Red Bull beforehand because we all know what happens when a bull sees red.

You know, just in case.


3 thoughts on “Seeing Red

  1. peter says:


    pretty interesting study. its amazing how much we can be affected by what goes on around us.



  2. pasturescott says:

    Hey Peter, I’m praying for you as you consider the two colleges. Your post on taking care as to not be divisive, calvinism or otherwise, was good stuff…just stay away from ‘red’…


  3. inexorablyloved says:

    I laugh at this because my Apologetics professor (known for his super-hard classes and extremely challenging tests–a B is a good grade in his class) always wears all black. Always. He makes a very intimidating figure. Except the days of the midterm (there are two sections). The first day he wore a bright red shirt. The second day he wore a bright blue shirt. Then it was back to black. I think it was indicative of some sort of idea that test days are happy days for him.

    I’ll have to tell him that next class period;)


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