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Running Head: Comparative Analysis

Comparative Analysis of Texts Regarding the Effect of Red on Sports Performance Chuk Yan E. Wong University of Groningen Student Number: S2432765 Mentor Group number: 28 Mentor Names: Dr. C. Borg and B. Reichrath Date: 19-01-2014

COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS Abstract This report sought to compare three texts regarding the effect of red on combat sport performance. Elements of scientific research were used to guide the comparison. While the

articles involved research in a communal topic, the methods of conduction in each study showed much variation. The results and inferred implications were ultimately similar with slight differences in the degree of comprehensiveness and critique. Notably, much information about the studies in some of the texts was unknown due to the different textual formats. These dissimilarities caused complications during the comparative analysis and resulted in questioning of the comparisons appropriateness. Keywords: red, combat, performance, comparison (Word Count: 98)

COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS Comparative Analysis of Texts Regarding the Effect of Red on Sports Performance: The perception of different colors has spawned through the ages of human evolutionary demands. It has influenced mood and emotions and evoked innate adaptive responses from the ancestral ages. In modern day life, humans are still prone to the influence of color perception in several domains. One of which, connects to times of competition and dominance. Battles and fighting in modern society has more accepted forms through combat sport

competitions. Here it is essential for opponents to prevail solely on skills. For this reason studies have been conducted on possible effects of color perception on combat sport performance. Such studies have major implications in the sporting arena where impartiality and fairness is expected. With this report, three texts (Red Enhances Human Performance in Contests (Hill, Barton, 2005), Influence of Red Jersey Color on Physical Parameters in Combat Sports (Hagemann, Strauss, Leiing, 2013), and When the Referee sees Red (Hagemann, Strauss, Leiing, 2008)) will be explored and compared in an attempt to gain insight in this area and delve into the means of conducting research. The common focus of the texts is the color red and its effect on sport performance. In their 2005 publishing, Hill and Barton describe the importance of considering sportswear color in competitions through conducted studies. The research concluded that wearing red in contests is advantageous (Hill, Barton, 2005). Shortly after When the Referee Sees Red disagreed with Hill and Barton. While conceding to the possible perceptual effects of red, the study undertook a different stance. Due to the major influence held by referees in competitions, the experimenters deduced referees to bear responsibility for this unfair advantage (Hagemann et al., 2008). However, in 2008 Hagemann,

COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS Strauss, and Leiing modified this position in Influence of Red Jersey Color on Physical Parameters in Combat Sports. This extensive journal included many references indicating an advantage to participants wearing red sportswear against evenly matched opponents. Contrast to their previous paper, contenders in red sportswear was the suggested majorly influenced in competitions. The advantageousness of wearing red was due to increasing physical parameters (i.e. heart rate and strength) of the red clothed competitor by reds perceptual effect (Hagemann et al., 2013). Among the texts, this paper was the most extensively written in a full scientific report. The procedure entails an experiment with 14 pairs of handball players similar in age, weight, height, and frequency of activeness. Each contester in a pair fought two rounds of 30 seconds in red or blue sportswear in the first round and alternated colors in the second round. After each round, participants completed a questionnaire regarding personal sport history and estimated exertion during the fight. Heart rate was measured before, during and after the match while strength was measured before and immediately after. Participants wore white when measuring physical parameters in the control condition and were blind to the purpose of the study. Each round was videotaped and modified into black and white image format for two independent raters to judge participants performance. (Hagemann et al., 2013) The procedure in When the Referee Sees Red is comparable. In this experiment, the participants were not fighting opponents, but referees responsible for judging performances. 42 experienced referees watched 2 blocks of 11 video excerpts taken during taekwondo combat rounds with fighters of similar abilities. Fighters in a round wore either red or blue sportswear. The two blocks contained the same clips but with switched sportswear colors for each fighter.

COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS The referees allocated and tallied points for each fighter based on standard taekwondo rules and there was no mentioning of a control condition. (Hagemann et al., 2008) The most startling dissimilarity in this experiment involved the use of a participant pool with large standard deviations (mean experience= 8.02 years, SD= 6.27). This threatened the validity of the experiment with a confounding variable that the previous experiment did not risk in this manner. The large variance in referee experience might have been a variable for their performance judgment. The least detailed communication was displayed by Hill and Barton (2005). The article briefly mentions two quasi studies. The first took place in the 2004 Olympics where contestants in four combat sports were randomly assigned red or blue outfits. The contests were then observed to see which contestants would win. The second study involved comparing the performance of five teams when wearing red shirts against the performance of wearing another colored shirt in the 2004 Eurocup (Hill, Barton, 2005). The information in the article did not mention any means of control for any of the experiments and no statistically supported results. The sole deduction made from the studies is the advantageousness that comes with wearing red

sportswear. Based on that conclusion, the text further suggests that research should be conducted in the evolutionary psychology of color and possible implementations of sport attire regulations. When the Referee Sees Red gives similar suggestions to prevent referee bias. The results alluded to bias towards contenders wearing red even when opponents are evenly matched. Consistently higher average points for contestants wearing red were allocated by referees. In turn, contestants originally wearing blue uniforms received higher points when their sportswear was digitally transformed to red (Hagemann et al., 2008).

COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS Hagemann, Strauss, Leiings (2013) scientific journal also shows concordance to the

previously mentioned results but with more concretion and insight. The study was self-evaluated and suggestions were given not only for further research, but for improvements to the quality of the study (e.g. developing more methods to measure strength during sports and using computer based simulations). The experimenters showed admittance to experimental flaws such as small sample size usage and skepticism to the causality between physical parameters increase and improved performance (Hagemann et al., 2013). No such evaluation is shown in either of the other two texts. The only shortcoming in this report was the proclamation that the results corroborated with the hypothesis. Results showed only higher levels of strength before sparring and higher heart rate during sparring that were significantly different for red-wearing competitors. While this is indeed an increase in physical parameters, the experimenters admit to the change in heart rate being possibly due to the contestants calming perception of their opponents blue sportswear. Henceforth, the argument of increased physical parameters when wearing red showed a weakness as only one parameter showed some support to the hypothesis. More experimental evidence seems to be needed. Otherwise, the experimenters criticism and thorough evaluation of the research is noteworthy. Although three texts concerning scientific studies were compared in this report, their unparallel formats rendered the task of this report challenging. While the main points of the studies were covered in each text, it was challenging to compare many aspects of scientific papers when they were not included in all of the texts. From the texts, this report sought to analyze and compare researches to obtain a deeper understanding of not only the topic at hand,

COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS but the general conduction of a research study. While this has been fulfilled to a certain degree, future comparative analyses should take standardly formatted scientific texts into consideration.

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COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS References Hagemann N., Strauss B., & Leiing J., (2008). When the Referee Sees Red. Psychological Science, 19, 769-771. Hagemann N., Strauss B., & Leiing J., (2011). Influence of Red Jersey Color on Physical Parameters in Combat Sports. Journal of Sports & Exercise Psychology, 35, 44-49. Hill, R.A., & Barton, R.A. (2005). Red Enhances Human Performance in Contests. Nature, 435, 293.