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Sound-symbolism effects in the absence of awareness. A replication study

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

People have been shown to link particular sounds with particular shapes. For instance, the round-sounding nonword bouba tends to be associated with curved shapes, whereas the sharp-sounding nonword kiki is deemed to be related to angular shapes. People's tendency to associate sounds and shapes has been observed across different languages. In the present study, we reexamined the claim by Hung, Styles, and Hsieh (2017) that such sound-shape mappings can occur before an individual becomes aware of the visual stimuli. More precisely, we replicated their first experiment, in which congruent and incongruent stimuli (e.g., bouba presented in a round shape or an angular shape, respectively) were rendered invisible through continuous flash suppression. The results showed that congruent combinations, on average, broke suppression faster than incongruent combinations, thus providing converging evidence for Hung and colleagues' assertions. Collectively, these findings now provide a solid basis from which to explore the boundary conditions of the effect.
Journal: Psychological Science
ISSN: 0956-7976
Issue: 11
Volume: 30
Publication year:2019