Журнал психологии и психотерапии

Журнал психологии и психотерапии
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ISSN: 2161-0487


Physical Appearance, Attractiveness and Relationships: Is the Display Versus Avoidance of the Color Red a Strategic Mating Signal?

Daniela Niesta Kayser and Sascha Schwarz

The present article focuses on the role of situational factors - such as the color red - and their influence on what humans notice in others. Humans form impressions of others instantly. These impressions are predominantly based on physical appearance, which is part due to a person’s search for indicators of a potential partner’s fitness. Attractive individuals are associated with all sorts of positive qualities, whereas their less attractive counterparts are less favorably depicted. This perception process of physical attractiveness is associated with health in male and female faces, and from an evolutionary point of view, serves the survival and the reproductive success of the perceiver. The meaning of the color red for approach and avoidance behavior is demonstrated in a recent study, which shows that women’s use (or avoidance) of red clothing, accessories, and make-up may serve as a subtle and strategic indicator of (missing) sexual interest.