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Has Stella McCartney got the Olympic design wrong?

By Harrison Kelly on Fri 15 June 2012

At an event during the 2012 Science Festival, a leading scientist explained why Stella McCartney has got the Olympic design wrong.

Speaking during the event “What Makes a Winner?” Prof. Rob Barton explained how Team GB’s Olympic strip could put them at a disadvantage due to the lack of the colour red.

Prof. Barton, an evolutionary biologist from Durham University, has researched the effect of colour in competitive sport and has found that red seems to be the colour of winners.

“Red is associated with dominance, aggression and anger,” said Prof. Barton, explaining that the absence of red in the British Olympic design could prove fatal for the medal haul.

Drawing on research from a range of sports, Barton found that when matched with a competitor of equal ability, the athletes wearing red won more times than not. Barton suggested that this was due to a natural instinct that we can still see in animals today.

Mandrills display status and signal dominance and confidence through the brightness of the red on their noses. There is evidence to suggest that this animal instinct and susceptibility to the colour of red is still present in modern humans.

Read more about the details of the 2012 Team GB strip and the science behind it here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17457729

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