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PLoS One. 2015 Jul 24;10(7):e0134033. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0134033. eCollection 2015.

Red Color and Risk-Taking Behavior in Online Environments.

Author information

1
Institute of Psychology, Osnabrück University, Osnabrück, Germany.
2
Psychology Department, University of Koblenz-Landau, Landau, Germany.
3
Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien, Tübingen, Germany.

Abstract

In many situations red is associated with hazard and danger. As a consequence, it was expected that task-irrelevant color cues in online environments would affect risk-taking behaviors. This assumption was tested in two web-based experiments. The first study (N = 383) demonstrated that in risky choice dilemmas respondents preferred the less risky option when the displayed university logo was in red (versus gray); but only when both choice alternatives were at least moderately risky. The second study (N = 144) replicated these results with a behavioral outcome: Respondents showed more cautious behavior in a web-based game when the focal stimuli were colored red (versus blue). Together, these findings demonstrate that variations in the color design of a computerized environment affect risk taking: Red color leads to more conservative choices and behaviors.

PMID:
26207983
PMCID:
PMC4514790
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0134033
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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