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Ref Sees Red - E PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE ‘11 Short Report...

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Unformatted text preview: E . PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE ‘11: Short Report When the Referee Sees Red . . . Norbert Hagemann, Bernd Strauss, and Jan Leifiing Wesy‘dlische Wilhelms- Universitnit M it'nster Hill and Barton (2005) showed that wearing red sports attire has a positive impact on one’s outcome in a combat sport (e. g., tae kwon do or wrestling). TheyAAuggegted that this effect 1s due to an evolutionary or cultural association domi— “flaw W m was; h “1,8831% fectfiin an athlete who wears red or in his or N3W” ,1. as» “5:599’21 1);»? :1: my her opponent; e. g. ., 511111111: 0 Hunt, Cleary, 81 Clark, 1997; Milinski 81 Bakker, 1990; Setchell 81 Wiekings, 2005). Rowe, Harris, and Roberts (2005) criticized this argument and instead attributed the bias evident in these and other data (judo) to differences in opponents’ visibility. We disagree with both interpretations (see also Barton 81 Hill, 2005), arguing that this phenomenon is actually due to a per- ceptual bias 1n the referee. “1.311121% propose that the per— ception of colors triggers a psychological effect 1n Wreferegs that mam“... mvyn'rréry A.) Maw-w “, X, Avg“ can fea to bias in evaluatmg identical performances Referees m. m ,1” ”resume-Am. W w xeraqurama‘asmflvwrm’a («a £11“ umpires exert a major influence on t e outcome of sports competitions (Plessner 81 Haar, 2006). Athletes frequently make very rapid movements, and referees have to View sports com— petitions from a very disadvantageous perspective, so it is ex— tremely difficult for them to make objective judgments (Oude- jans et al., 2000). As a result their judgments may show biases like those found 111 other scolal Judgments (Frank 81 CiloviCh, 1988; Plessner 81 Haar, 2006, Ste— Marie 81 Valiquette, 1996). Therefore, we believe that it is the referees who are the actual cause of the advantage competitors have when they wear red. Because the effect of red clothing on performance and on the decisions of referees may well have been confounded in the original data, we conducted a new experiment and found that on dolcompetltors dressed referees assign more pomts to tae METHOD We investigated the effect of the color of the protective gear (trunk and head p AAA referees. A total 0 experienced referees (13 female, 29 male; mean age = 29.31 years, SD = ors) 1n tae kwon do on the decisions of 10.56; mean experience as a Address correspondence to Norbert Hagemann, Department of Sport Psychology, University of Munster, Horstmarer Landweg 62b, 48149 Munster, Germany, e—mail: [email protected]—muenster.de. Volume 19—Number 8 referee = 8.02 years, SD = 6.27) individually watched video— taped excerpts from sparring rounds of five different male competitors of similar abilities. Each of two blocks contained 1 1 clips, with an'average length of 4.4 s. The video images mea— sured 1, 024 X 768 pixels and were displayed on a notebook computer with a 15. 4- —.1n screen In each video, one competitor was wearing red protective gear, and the other was wearing blue protective gear. (Underneath this gear, each competitor wore a white tae kwon do uniform.) The two blocks contained the same clips, but with the colors of the com— petitors reversed. We reversed the colors using digital graphics, animation, and image-compositing software (Adobe After Effects 7.0). After viewing each clip, participants indicated how many points they would award the red and the blue competitors. Following the rules of the World Taekwondo Federation,1 par— ticipants awarded points when permitted techniques were used to deliver attacks to the legal scoring areas of the body: Spe- cifically, 1 point was awarded for an attack to the trunk protector (fist and foot techniques), and 2 points were awarded for an at- tack to the face (only attacks by foot technique are permitted). Additional points could be awarded if a contestant knocked \ down his opponent. Prohibited acts could be counted as a de— duction of 1 point. Tl‘El'ldeO clips were presented in random order within each block, and the order of the blocks was counterbalanced across; part1c1pants i For each referee we calculated the total number of points for the red and blue competitors, and these values were subjected to separate dependent t tests. We used Cohens d as our measure of effect size. We expected thzitchhnglngthecolor ofthe fifiééfi’v‘é geaiifriiifi blue to red would lead to an increase in points awarded, Whereas changing the color from red to blue would have the opposite effect. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Figure 1 shows the effect of the color of the protective gear. The competitor wearing red protective gear was awarded an average 1In a regular competition, the match score is the sum of points in three 2—min rounds. Unless there is a knockout, withdrawal, or disqualification, the winner is usually determined by points: The winner has the higher final score, exceeds the opponent’s score by 7 points, or reaches the maximum of 12 points. Copyright © 2008 Association for Psychological Science 769 s l M Mean Points 01 Competitors A Competitors B red blue Original Competitors A Competitors B blue red Color-Reversed Version Fig. 1. Mean number of points awarded to tae kwon do competitors in the original and color—reversed versions of the video clips. Each clip depicted a sparring round with one competitor dressed in red and the other dressed in blue. Competitors A were red in the original clips and blue in the color-reversed clips, and Competitors B wore blue in the original clips and red in the color~reversed clips. Error bars indicate standard errors. of 13% (0.94 points) more points than the competitor wearing blue protective gear, t(4~1) = 2.85, p < .01, d = 0.35. The number of points awarded increased for a blue competitor who was digitally transformed into a red competitor, t(41) = 2.45, p < .01 (one-tailed), d = 0.36, and decreased for a red com— petitor who was digitally transformed into a blue competitor, t(41) = 1.66, p < .05 (one—tailed), d = 0.25. The gender aggro Mvm'sww mum in referee, total number ofpoigt§_gwagded nthetnoversinns w. ,Symkzwe fr\‘iw~m«o«>«.~,.\=x\ video clip (originaivs celer-reversed), and t iii? deci .va T us, competitors dressed in red are awarded more points than competitors dressed in blue, even when their performance is identical. The effect found in this experiment can also explain Wmiwrxfnw-fififiwMWJWQJMI‘emxsasi’aeam ems why the effect of clothing color on the utcom W51? eggpe W .5? as mmetryln their abilitiesg‘SLHill & Barton,2005) Referees’ m,....;~/,v,;.a,.,u% (was Naemx..¢wt decisions will “tip the scalesiinwhen athletes are relatively well EiEEEfiedj'BfiiHEVE"iafifVE “yeast THHEEHEEWYEWEHETQTEEM wfiw‘ 4“ vgfi‘ifiéfiwgh’iliéhhlorof athlEiE?“§EfiffsW€§FffiEy”Wéll with dominance or differences in Visibility of the opponent), we argue that the referees are responsible for the advantage con- veyed to athletes who wear red. Although there is a need for further research (including research on the effects of different 770 colors), our results suggest a need to change the rules (i.e., forbid ‘ swam. Was; red sports attlre) or, ecrsro .W‘EFM’ Wrw’ H l ctronic trunk rote color bias may be a problem. .W ‘teun‘firzie kfifixaswvaamzmwe arm: REFERENCES Barton, R.A., & Hill, R.A. (2005). Sporting contests: Seeing red? Putting sportswear in context (reply). Nature, 437, E10—E11, Cuthill, l.C., Hunt, 8., Cleary, C., & Clark, C. (1997). Colour bands, dominance, and body mass regulation in male. zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Bio- logical Sciences, 264, 1093—1099. Frank, M.C., & Gilovich, T. (1988). The dark side of self- and social perception: Black uniforms and aggression in professional sports. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 74—85. Hill, R.A., & Barton, RA. (2005). Red enhances human performance in contests. Nature, 435, 293. ~ Milinski, M., & Bakker, T.C.M. (1990). Female sticklebacks use male coloration in mate choice and hence avoid parasitized males. Nature, 344, 330—333. Oudejans, R.R., Verheijen, R., Bakker, F.C., Cerrits, J.C., Stein— bruckner, M., 81 Beek, R]. (2000). Errors in judging ‘offside’ in foothall..Nature, 404, 33. Plessner, H., & Haar, T. (2006). Sports performance judgments from a social cognitive perspective. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 7, 555—575. Volume l9——Number 8 [W l Norbert Hagemann, Bernd Strauss, and Jan Leifiing Rowe, C., Harris, J.M., & Roberts, SC. (2005). Sporting contests: Ste»Marie, D,M., & Valiquette, SM. (1996). Enduring memory-influ- Seeing red? Putting spottswear in context. Nature, 437, E10. enced biases in gymnastic judging. Journal of Experimental Setchell, J .M., & Wickings, EJ. (2005). Dominance, status signals and Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 22, 1498—1502. coloration in male mandrills (Mandrillus Sphinx). Ethology, 11] , 25—50. (RECEIVED 12/16/07; REVISION ACCEPTED 2/13/08) Volume I‘D—Number 8 771. ...
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