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You can read Stafford’s article on the BBC website.

Stafford also contributes to the wonderful psychology blog Mind Hacks.

But it has nothing to do with stirring up patriotism.

(This “red effect” has since been shown in other sports, including soccer, according to Stafford.)A second study — one that looked only at the sport of judo — found that wearing white or blue was more advantageous to Olympic athletes. Brighter colors, the authors of that study argued, made a contestant’s movements easier for his or her opponent to see.British anthropologists Russell Hill and Robert Barton of the University of Durham reached that conclusion by studying the outcomes of one-on-one boxing, tae kwon do, Greco-Roman-wresting, and freestyle-wrestling matches at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece.In each event Olympic staff randomly assigned red or blue clothing or body protection to competitors.There was a movement several years ago to change to dark-colored football helmets from white or light-colored ones.Studies had shown that opposing teams were more intimidated facing players wearing dark-colored helmets versus white ones.

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