BEIJING, March 6 (Xinhuanet) -- Going to take an important exam? Don't sit next to a person wearing red!
That's the latest finding according to a new study that suggests just a glimpse of the color negatively affects test performance.
Although previous research revealed wearing red uniforms gave athletes an advantage in sports, the same may not be true when it comes to mental performance.
People associate each color with a specific mood and for many red evokes a feeling of danger. Seeking peace and tranquility? Sit next to someone wearing blue.
"Color clearly has aesthetic value, but it can also carry specific meaning and convey specific information," said lead study author Andrew J. Elliot, a psychologist at the University of Rochester. "Our study of avoidance motivation is part and parcel of that."
In a series of four experiments, high school and college students were assigned tests that contained some element -- such as a participant number located in the upper right hand corner of each test page -- which possessed a color. These colors included green, red and gray.
In cases where the color red was used, performance was impaired.
According to the researchers, the findings show "care must be taken in how red is used in achievement contexts and illustrate how color can act as a subtle environmental cue that has important influences on behavior."