A study published in the Social Psychological & Personality Science area of the SAGE Journals says hockey players accrue more penalties when wearing black sweaters compared to white ones. From the study’s abstract:
To examine the color–aggression link, the authors analyzed the last 25 seasons of NHL penalty-minute data (649 seasons from 30 teams collapsed across 52,098 games). When teams wore black jerseys, they were penalized more than when they did not (d = 1.19; Study 1). When teams switched to wearing colored jerseys at home games, they were penalized more than when they wore white jerseys at home games (d = 0.83; Study 2). Collectively, these quasi-experimental findings suggest that black jerseys are associated with more aggression and that white jerseys are associated with less.
It seems like it would be difficult to tell what color jersey a team wore for a game 25 years ago, but I’ll take their word for it. Just from the abstract, it’s also difficult to tell how significant the gap was between penalty minutes accrued in white jerseys compared to black ones. Still, it seems like an interesting study and something worth monitoring during the season. It’s also worth pointing out that Penguins goalie Brent Johnson was wearing a black sweater when he broke Rick DiPietro’s face in February with one punch. After reading this study, I’m not so confident that would have happened had he been wearing white.
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