London - Ask a man to go shopping with you and he really might see red – but not in the way you might expect.
Researchers have discovered that men are seduced by red price labels, while women see through the marketing ploy.
Faced with sales prices written in red, men in the British study believed they were saving nearly twice as much as when the cost was laid out in black and white.
Lead researcher Dr Nancy Puccinelli, of Oxford University, said: “Essentially, women are better shoppers than men and spend more time shopping.
“They appear to be immune to the effects of prices in red because they tend to process advertisements in greater depth, and are more sceptical.
“But when men see prices in red they feel more positive and think there are greater savings to be had.
“Men appear to be particularly susceptible to the effects of red colour, possibly for evolutionary reasons.”
The study, published in the Journal of Retailing, involved three experiments with around 400 people who looked at price labels and advertisements, rating them for the amount of money they would save.
In each case, the men thought they were saving more when the price was in red and believed those products offered savings 85 percent greater than the black-priced items. For women there was no difference between the colours.
When researchers told the men the decision was important and they looked more closely at the labels, the “red effect” disappeared.
Previous research has shown that men are more attracted to women who wear red, that waitresses in red get bigger tips and that women hitchhikers are more likely to be picked up when wearing red.
It has been suggested that this is because in evolutionary terms a rosy complexion in a female can be a sign of increased fertility. - Daily Mail