MIND Reviews: Drunk Tank Pink

Scientific American Mind:

At the 2004 Summer Olympics, researchers asked six athletes in different sports to wear red uniforms instead of their usual more subdued colors. All of them won gold. Although the color red, associated with sex, dominance and aggression, did not convey magical powers, it may have provided subconscious cues to the athletes and their opponents that swayed the outcome of the competition.

In his new book, social psychologist Alter reveals how seemingly innocuous things, such as colors, symbols, even names, influence how we think and behave. To prove his point, Alter starts with work that began in the 1970s, which showed how pink walls in confined spaces, jails and locker rooms changed men’s behavior—calming those prone to violence, even decreasing their strength.

Read the whole story: Scientific American Mind

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