We take a lot of traditions for granted, and rarely think to ask questions about not only why we do something a particular way, but whether that something actually works or is good.
Take, for example, the lowly red marking pen.
Long used by teachers, professors, copyeditors and others to highlight wrong answers or problems that need correcting on a paper, a test, or something else submitted for approval, the red pen has been ubiquitous.
But red is an emotional color. People respond strongly to it, either negatively or positively. So using it can evoke unintended emotions where none are required (or worse, interfere with the feedback loop).
So does the color red interfere with feedback in the real world, when professors are grading college papers? Let’s find out.