As Seen (Mostly) in Psychological Science

AsSeeninPS_Red_dressThat little red dress might be giving off more signals than you think. Wearing red might be asking people to associate you with success…if you are playing sports. Trained referees were asked to decide tae kwon do matches between opponents in blue and red. Judges tended to favor the contestant in red, especially when the match was very close. So if you want people to think of you as a success, remember to “think red.”

Hagemann, N. et al. (2008). When the Referee Sees Red. Psychological Science, 19(8).


AsSeeninPS_RulerIs the person you’re having a drink with a good guy or a meanie? Quickly figure out if there should be a second date with the “Facial Width-Height Ruler.” Studies show that men with a certain facial width-to-height ratio are more aggressive than others. Say bye-bye to bad guys and hello to Mr. Nice!

Carré, J.M. et al. (2009). Facial Structure Is a Reliable Cue of Aggressive Behavior. Psychological Science, 20.



It’s been a serious faux-pas to wear Hawaiian shirts outside the Aloha state since about 1989, but fashion scientists are still trying to understand the garment, in a misguided effort to bring back these tacky tops. Taste for Hawaiian shirts lies in the eyes of the beholder: Tourists from Australia, China, Japan, Korea, and the mainland United States all had different preferences for Hawaiian shirts based on different characteristics of the shirt’s print. Hawaiian shirts might sell better if retailers tailor their sales according to customers’ nationality.

Hyllegard, K. & Morgado, M. (2001). International Visitors’ Aesthetic Preferences for Hawaiian Printed Fabrics. Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, 19.



This is no ordinary office accessory: If you have something important to get across, simply clip it on a heavy clipboard and people will pay attention. People consider things that are attached to a heavy clipboard way more important than what’s attached to a regular, flimsy clipboard.

Jostmann, N.B. et al. (2009). Weight as an Embodiment of Importance. Psychological Science, 20.


Rapper, Rick Ross on teh cover of XXL magazine wearing counterfeit Louis Vuitton sunglasses

Rapper, Rick Ross on the cover of XXL magazine wearing counterfeit Louis Vuitton sunglasses

Those knockoff Ray-Ban shades might look pretty fly (at one fifth the price), but they have a surprising drawback: For all their fashionableness, they could be taking their toll on your moral values. In four experiments, subjects wearing fake sunglasses were less honest than subjects in name-brand sunglasses. The price tag is enticing, but it may be worth it to invest in the real deal.

Gino, F. (2010).The Counterfeit Self: The Deceptive costs of Faking It. Psychological Science, 21(5).

April Fools!

We hope you’ve enjoyed this special Fashion Supplement! While looking good is important, we’ll stick to what we know and love best: Psychological Science!

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