Intimidating colours

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For many, grayscale offers managable challenge - but color is shrouded in a veil of mystery.The Color Starter Kit aims to simplify this challenge with a classic strategy: observational painting.Alternatively, red clothes could actually boost the wearer's testosterone levels, he says: "Maybe you get a surge when you pull on that red shirt." Elsewhere in the animal kingdom, red coloration is a marker of high testosterone and superior physical fitness.

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We see the color green and are reassured (this is, genuinely, because green indicated water and life to primitive man).In human societies, red's aggressive, winning quality may explain why many military uniforms and medals feature the colour, comments Andrew Walton, a sports psychologist based in Coventry, UK.But colour choice can also have a cultural basis, Walton points out. "If you have faith that purple is an imperial colour, then you will be happy wearing purple," he says.The discovery comes from an analysis of combat events in last year's Olympic Games in Athens.In four of these events (boxing, tae kwon do, Greco-Roman wrestling and freestyle wrestling) combatants are randomly assigned either blue or red outfits.

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