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dc.contributor.advisorHalberstadt, Jamin
dc.contributor.authorO'Sullivan, Samuel John
dc.identifier.citationO’Sullivan, S. J. (2014). The ‘right’ name feels right: The influence of stimulus ‘fit’ on affective experience (Thesis, Master of Arts). University of Otago. Retrieved from
dc.description.abstractNumerous studies show that names are non-arbitrarily assigned to objects. For instance, a well-researched phenomenon, the “Bouba-Kiki” effect, is that people believe certain names “fit” with certain shapes, for example, “round” names (pronounced with rounded mouth movements, such as “Bouba”) with round shapes. Five studies examined people’s reactions and attitudes toward shapes with congruent names (e.g., a round “Bouba”) relative to incongruent names (e.g., an angular “Bouba”). In Study 1 participants evaluated incongruent stimuli more positively in a questionnaire. In Studies 2-4, participants learnt the names of shapes, and subsequently favoured congruent stimuli on both explicit and implicit attitude measures. In Study 5, an exploratory analysis of affective experience using facial recognition software revealed that incongruent stimuli were responded to with more muscle activity. Interpretations and plausible psychological mechanisms for the results are discussed, along with suggestions to improve methodology. The findings have implications for product development, face naming, the evolution of language, and affective experience in everyday perception.
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.rightsAll items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subjectBouba-Kiki effect
dc.subjectEmbodied Cognition
dc.subjectFacial Recognition
dc.titleThe “right” name feels right: The influence of stimulus “fit” on affective experience
dc.language.rfc3066en of Arts of Otago
otago.openaccessAbstract Only
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