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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
- General Agricultural and Biological Sciences