Effect of the red uniform on the judgment of position or movement used in Wushu Routine, evaluated by practitioners of the modality

by Jinkun Li, Jingmin Zhang et al.
March 2024, PLOS ONE


In the artistic sports program, the referee’ scores directly determine the final results of the athletes. Wushu is a artistic sport that has a Chinese characteristic and has the potential to become an official competition at the Summer Olympic. In this study we tested whether a red uniform color affects Wushu Routine practitioners’ ratings of athletes’ position or movement of Wushu Routine. We also tested whether the effect varied depending on the gender of the athlete and the practitioner, and depending on whether female practitioners were in the ovulation phase of their menstrual cycle. Male (Experiment 1: N = 72) and female (Experiment 1: N = 72; Experiment 2: N = 52) participants who major in Wushu Routine were recruited to take a referee’s perspective and rate the movement quality of male and female athletes wearing red or blue uniforms. The results of Experiment 1 showed that both male and female athletes wearing red uniform (compared to blue uniform) received higher ratings ( p = .002, η ² = .066; p = .014, η ² = .043), and the red effect was especially strong when male practitioners rated female athletes ( p = .002, η ² = .069). The results of Experiment 2, in an all-female sample, showed that in most cases there was no difference in ratings made by women in the ovulation and non-ovulation phases of their menstrual cycle, with the exception of their ratings of male athletes wearing red; in this condition, women gave higher ratings when they were in the ovulation phase of their cycle ( p = .026). The results suggest that there is a red effect in an artistic sport like Wushu Routine, in which gender and the female menstrual cycle play an important role.

Full Text available

About the Author(s):

Jinkun Li – Department of Psychology, Wuhan Sports University, Wuhan, China; School of Physical Education and Sports, Central China Normal University, Wuhan, China,

Jingmin Zhang – Department of Psychology, Wuhan Sports University, Wuhan, China

Share and Enjoy !