What’s been less reported is that the red-romance effect has been under scrutiny right from its early days.
Calin-Jageman said the latter result is a mixture of large and null effects, which led him to conclude that “either the big effects are a fluke, or there is something specific needed to be done when studying red that not all labs are doing.” In collecting all of this data, Calin-Jageman uncovered another problem with the research: He found that more than half of all experiments involving women rating men hadn’t been published at all, and for men rating women, around 30 percent of the data was not there either.
“What is published is just the tip of the iceberg,” he said.
“It’s not the whole story.” It also contributes to our likely mistaken belief that the red-romance connection is strong.
The majority of the published data are positive findings showing the effect working. Scholarly journals often actively reject papers with negative findings, and in the case of red-romance, it seems that the studies that said it mattered were published while the ones that showed no effect were ignored.
No wonder we think it has an influence—science says so!