Color-shape associations revealed with Implicit Association Tests

Na Chen, Kanji Tanaka, Katsumi Watanabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Kandinsky proposed a correspondence theory that suggests associations between specific colors and shapes (i.e., circle-blue, square-red, triangle-yellow). Makin and Wuerger tested the theory using the Implicit Association Test (IAT) and did not find clear evidence for Kandinsky's color-shape associations among British participants. In the present study, we first replicated the previous study among Japanese participants and found similar results to those of Makin and Wuerger, showing little support for Kandinsky's theory. In the subsequent experiment, we tested another set of color-shape associations that had been revealed by using an explicit matching method (circle-red, square-blue, triangle-yellow) in Japanese participants. The IAT tests showed that response times were significantly faster when circle-red, square-blue, and triangle-yellow combinations were mapped onto the same response key, rather than different key combinations, indicating that these colorshape combinations were encoded. These results provide the first empirical evidence that color-shape associations can be measured by indirect behavioral methods, and in particular, Japanese people' s color-shape associations (circle-red, square-blue, triangle-yellow) can be observed by both direct and indirect experimental methods.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0116954
JournalPLoS One
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jan 27
Externally publishedYes

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Color
color
testing
Japanese people
Reaction Time
methodology
Experiments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Color-shape associations revealed with Implicit Association Tests. / Chen, Na; Tanaka, Kanji; Watanabe, Katsumi.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 10, No. 1, e0116954, 27.01.2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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