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Date: October 30, 2008
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Related materials from ESL Discussions.com on red and dating.

THE ARTICLE

Men more attracted to women in red

A new study suggests that men are more physically attracted to a woman if she wears red clothes. The report from New York’s University of Rochester conducted different experiments to find out the effects of colour on human relationships. Researchers asked more than 100 men to give a score to photographs of women. The men had to rate the women according to how pretty they were, how much the men would like to kiss them, their intelligence and how kind they looked. They also had to provide details of what kind of date they would like to take the women on. The results showed that that the women in the pictures who wore red scored higher and were more likely to be taken on an expensive date. The data showed the colour red made no impact on the scores for intelligence and kindness.


 
 

The research was carried out by psychology professor Andrew Elliot and his team. He said: “It's fascinating to find that something as [ever-present] as color can be having an effect on our behavior without our awareness.” This is one of the first scientific studies to look at the effects of colour on human behaviour. For most of us, however, it will come as no surprise that red is the colour of love and passion. Look no further than red roses on Valentine’s Day and the popularity of deep red lipsticks. Elliot says men may be genetically programmed to be attracted to females wearing red. He said certain apes also display such behaviour. Women in the study did not rate the pictured females as prettier, neither did they have the chance to rate men wearing different colours.


 
 

WARM-UPS

1. COLOUR: Walk around the class and talk to other students about colour. Change partners often. After you finish, sit with your partner(s) and share your findings.

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words from the article are most interesting and which are most boring.

 

studies / physical attraction / experiments / human relationships / intelligence / dates / professors / fascinating things / behaviour / love / passion / lipstick / prettiness

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

3. ATTRACTIVENESS: What features do you find attractive in a partner? Complete the table below. Give a mark from 1 (not at all important) to 10 (essential) Share what you wrote with your partner(s).

Feature

1 - 10

Why?

Looks

 

 

Body shape

 

 

Clothes

 

 

Intelligence

 

 

Money

 

 

Humor

 

 

Kindness

 

 

4. PASSION: Students A strongly believe red is THE colour of passion; Students B strongly believe any colour can be the colour of passion. Change partners again and talk about your roles and conversations.

5. COLOURS: With your partner(s), discuss which colour is best for the following. Share your ideas with other students.

  • A woman’s dress
  • A man’s suit
  • A computer
  • Chocolate
  • Nail polish
  • A library
  • A car
  • A sports shirt

6. RED: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘red’. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the article’s headline and guess whether these sentences are true (T) or false (F):

a.

Men prefer women who wear red clothes.

T / F

b.

Part of a study was for men to kiss an intelligent woman in a red dress.

T / F

c.

A study said men might spend more on a date if the woman wore red.

T / F

d.

Men said that women who wore yellow were kind.

T / F

e.

The researcher said we are very aware of how colour affects us.

T / F

f.

Few people would be surprised that red is the colour of passion.

T / F

g.

Male apes prefer female apes who wear red.

T / F

h.

Women were more attracted to men who wear different colours.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article:

1.

suggests

a.

rating

2

conducted

b.

impact

3.

score

c.

give

4.

provide

d.

thinking

5.

data

e.

particular

6.

fascinating

f.

argues

7.

awareness

g.

opportunity

8.

effects

h.

statistics

9.

certain

i.

carried out

10.

chance

j.

interesting

3. PHRASE MATCH: Match the following phrases from the article (sometimes more than one. combination is possible):

1.

men are more physically

a.

on human relationships

2

the effects of colour

b.

love and passion

3.

men had to rate the women according to

c.

an expensive date

4.

more likely to be taken on

d.

without our awareness

5.

the colour red made no impact on the

e.

how pretty they were

6.

having an effect on our behavior

f.

wearing different colours

7.

look at the effects of

g.

attracted to a woman

8.

red is the colour of

h.

colour on human behaviour

9.

the popularity of deep

i.

scores for intelligence

10.

the chance to rate men

j.

red lipsticks

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.

A new study suggests that men are more __________ attracted to a woman if she wears red clothes. The report from New York’s University of Rochester conducted __________ experiments to find out the effects of colour on human relationships. Researchers asked more than 100 men to give a __________ to photographs of women. The men had to __________ the women according to how pretty they were, how much the men would like to kiss them, their intelligence and how kind they __________. They also had to provide details of what kind of date they would like to __________ the women on. The results showed that that the women in the pictures who wore red scored higher and were more __________ to be taken on an expensive date. The data showed the colour red made no __________ on the scores for intelligence and kindness.

 

looked
score
impact
physically
take
rate
likely
different

The research was __________ out by psychology professor Andrew Elliot and his team. He said: “It's fascinating to find that something as [ever-__________] as color can be having an effect on our behavior without our awareness.” This is one of the first scientific studies to look at the __________ of colour on human behaviour. For most of us, however, it will come as no __________ that red is the colour of love and passion. Look no further than red roses on Valentine’s Day and the popularity of __________ red lipsticks. Elliot says men may be genetically programmed to be attracted to females wearing red. He said __________ apes also display such behaviour. Women in the study did not rate the pictured females as __________, neither did they have the __________ to rate men wearing different colours.

 

surprise
 
present
prettier
chance
deep
carried
certain
effects

LISTENING:  Listen and fill in the spaces.

A new ___________________ men are more physically attracted to a woman if she wears red clothes. The report from New York’s University of Rochester conducted different experiments to ___________________ of colour on human relationships. Researchers asked more than 100 men to give a score to photographs of women. The ___________________ women according to how pretty they were, how much the men would like to kiss them, their intelligence ___________________ looked. They also had to provide details of what kind of date they ___________________ the women on. The results showed that that the women in the pictures who wore red scored higher and were ___________________ taken on an expensive date. The data showed the colour red made no impact on the scores for intelligence and kindness.

The research ___________________ psychology professor Andrew Elliot and his team. He said: “It's fascinating to find that something as [ever-present] as color can be ___________________ our behavior without our awareness.” This is one of the first scientific studies to look at the effects of colour on human behaviour. For most of us, however, __________________ surprise that red is the colour of love and passion. Look no further than red roses on Valentine’s Day and the ___________________ red lipsticks. Elliot says men may be genetically programmed to be attracted to females wearing red. He said ___________________ display such behaviour. Women in the study did not rate the pictured females as prettier, neither did they have the ___________________ wearing different colours.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionaries / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘physical’ and ‘attraction’.

physical

attraction

 

 

 

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

  • suggests
  • experiments
  • rate
  • details
  • likely
  • impact
  • team
  • awareness
  • surprise
  • roses
  • apes
  • chance

STUDENT RED SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about the colour red in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

Q.2.

Q.3.

Q.4.

Q.5.

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

COLOUR DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

a)

What did you think when you read the headline?

b)

What springs to mind when you hear the word ‘red’?

c)

Do you look good in red?

d)

What do you think of the conclusions of this survey?

e)

In what other ways do colours affect human relationships?

f)

Does colour have an effect on your behaviour?

g)

Do you prefer your partner to wear particular colours?

h)

Will you think about this survey the next time you go on a date?

i)

What are the colours of intelligence and kindness?

j)

Why are people so interested in colours?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Are you aware of the colours around you?

c)

What are your favourite and least liked colours?

d)

Why is red the colour of love and passion? Why not silver or black?

e)

What do you think of green and blue lipsticks?

f)

Do you think people should experiment more with colours in their daily lives?

g)

What colour is English?

h)

What colours do men look best in?

i)

How would you like to change the colours in nature?

j)

What questions would you like to ask professor Andrew Elliot?

LANGUAGE

A new study suggests that men are more (1) ____ attracted to a woman if she wears red clothes. The report from New York’s University of Rochester (2) ____ different experiments to find out the effects of colour (3) ____ human relationships. Researchers asked more than 100 men to give a score to photographs of women. The men had to (4) ____ the women according to how pretty they were, how much the men would like to kiss them, their intelligence and how kind they looked. They also had to provide details of what kind of date they would like to take the women on. The results showed that that the women in the pictures who wore red scored higher and were more (5) ____ to be taken on an expensive date. The data showed the colour red made no impact on the scores for intelligence and (6) ____.

The research was carried (7) ____ by psychology professor Andrew Elliot and his team. He said: “It's fascinating to find that something as [(8) ____ -present] as color can be having an effect on our behavior without our awareness.” This is one of the first scientific studies to look at the effects of colour on human behaviour. For most of us, however, it will (9) ____ as no surprise that red is the colour of love and passion. Look no further than red roses on Valentine’s Day and the popularity (10) ____ deep red lipsticks. Elliot says men may be genetically programmed (11) ____ be attracted to females wearing red. He said certain apes also display such behaviour. Women in the study did not rate the pictured females as prettier, neither did they have the (12) ____ to rate men wearing different colours.

Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.

1.

(a)

physicality

(b)

physics

(c)

physical

(d)

physically

2.

(a)

conducted

(b)

conductor

(c)

conducts

(d)

conducting

3.

(a)

off

(b)

on

(c)

of

(d)

over

4.

(a)

rated

(b)

rating

(c)

rate

(d)

rates

5.

(a)

liked

(b)

liken

(c)

likely

(d)

likelihood

6.

(a)

kind

(b)

kindness

(c)

kindly

(d)

kindest

7.

(a)

over

(b)

in

(c)

to

(d)

out

8.

(a)

ever

(b)

even

(c)

never

(d)

every

9.

(a)

get

(b)

come

(c)

go

(d)

take

10.

(a)

over

(b)

on

(c)

off

(d)

of

11.

(a)

for

(b)

and

(c)

to

(d)

on

12.

(a)

chance

(b)

risk

(c)

possible

(d)

gamble

WRITING: 

Write about the colour red for 10 minutes. Correct your partner’s paper.

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about how colour affects our behaviour. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. COLOURFUL ME: Make a poster about yourself and colours. Include your favourite colours and show how they affect your life. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. RED: Write a magazine article about a colour expert and someone who believes colour is not important. Include imaginary interviews with the two.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).

5. DIARY / JOURNAL: Write about the different colours you see during the day that made you think about them. Read your entry to your classmates in the next lesson.

6. LETTER: Write a letter to an expert on colour. Ask him/her three questions about colours. Give him/her your three ideas for which colours belong to which feelings. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. T

b. F

c. T

d. F

e. F

f. T

g. F

h. F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

suggests

a.

argues

2

conducted

b.

carried out

3.

score

c.

rating

4.

provide

d.

give

5.

data

e.

statistics

6.

fascinating

f.

interesting

7.

awareness

g.

thinking

8.

effects

h.

impact

9.

certain

i.

particular

10.

chance

j.

opportunity

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

men are more physically

a.

attracted to a woman

2

the effects of colour

b.

on human relationships

3.

rate the women according to how

c.

pretty they were

4.

more likely to be taken on

d.

an expensive date

5.

the colour red made no impact on the

e.

scores for intelligence

6.

having an effect on our behavior

f.

without our awareness

7.

look at the effects of

g.

colour on human behaviour

8.

red is the colour of

h.

love and passion

9.

the popularity of deep

i.

red lipsticks

10.

the chance to rate men

j.

wearing different colours

GAP FILL:

Men more attracted to women in red

A new study suggests that men are more physically attracted to a woman if she wears red clothes. The report from New York’s University of Rochester conducted different experiments to find out the effects of colour on human relationships. Researchers asked more than 100 men to give a score to photographs of women. The men had to rate the women according to how pretty they were, how much the men would like to kiss them, their intelligence and how kind they looked. They also had to provide details of what kind of date they would like to take the women on. The results showed that that the women in the pictures who wore red scored higher and were more likely to be taken on an expensive date. The data showed the colour red made no impact on the scores for intelligence and kindness.

The research was carried out by psychology professor Andrew Elliot and his team. He said: “It's fascinating to find that something as [ever-present] as color can be having an effect on our behavior without our awareness.” This is one of the first scientific studies to look at the effects of colour on human behaviour. For most of us, however, it will come as no surprise that red is the colour of love and passion. Look no further than red roses on Valentine’s Day and the popularity of deep red lipsticks. Elliot says men may be genetically programmed to be attracted to females wearing red. He said certain apes also display such behaviour. Women in the study did not rate the pictured females as prettier, neither did they have the chance to rate men wearing different colours.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 - a

3 - b

4 - c

5 - c

6 - b

7 - d

8 - a

9 - b

10 - d

11 - c

12 - a

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