While school is almost over, that doesn’t mean we don’t have time for a quick lesson in psychology . . . Sports Psychology to be exact. The University of North Carolina – Asheville set out to investigate the potential emotional connection that college athletes have with uniform colors. Fifty-nine NCAA college athletes were shown eight colors commonly found in uniforms to see which elicited the highest emotional response for the Ideal Performance State (IPS). In a self-report survey, participants ranked uniforms in terms of color dominance and then completed a color strength profile by scoring the uniforms based on five IPS emotional characteristics.
Darker colors usually stand out against lighter colors as more dominant, but when athletes identify with a color such as their school color, an emotional connection will cause a change in the way dominance is recognized. Darker colors tend to stimulate the emotions of a stout IPS to a greater degree than lighter colors. Females did not prefer warmer colors; they identified with their school color with the dark colors of the survey following closely behind. Males did not prefer cooler colors; their responses varied greatly throughout the survey.
So what colors came out on top? Maroon dominated the group of warm colors, with red coming in a close second. Of the cool colors blue came out on top with navy as a close second. Among the minds of athletes, these colors indicated power, dominance and performance.
Now take a look at your team uniforms: are the colors as brilliant as they once were? Does the contrasting pattern command your attention? Would this team jersey intimidate even the most formidable of opponents?
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