A social Bouba/Kiki effect: A bias for people whose names match their faces

A social Bouba/Kiki effect: A bias for people whose names match their faces The “bouba/kiki effect” is the robust tendency to associate rounded objects (vs. angular objects) with names that require rounding of the mouth to pronounce, and may reflect synesthesia-like mapping across perceptual modalities. Here we show for the first time a “social” bouba/kiki effect, such that experimental participants associate round names (“Bob,” “Lou”) with round-faced (vs. angular-faced) individuals. Moreover, consistent with a bias for expectancy-consistent information, we find that participants like targets with “matching” names, both when name-face fit is measured and when it is experimentally manipulated. Finally, we show that such bias could have important practical consequences: An analysis of voting data reveals that Senatorial candidates earn 10% more votes when their names fit their faces very well, versus very poorly. These and similar cross-modal congruencies suggest that social judgment involves not only amodal application of stored information (e.g., stereotypes) to new stimuli, but also integration of perceptual and bodily input. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Psychonomic Bulletin & Review Springer Journals

A social Bouba/Kiki effect: A bias for people whose names match their faces

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by Psychonomic Society, Inc.
Subject
Psychology; Cognitive Psychology
ISSN
1069-9384
eISSN
1531-5320
D.O.I.
10.3758/s13423-017-1304-x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The “bouba/kiki effect” is the robust tendency to associate rounded objects (vs. angular objects) with names that require rounding of the mouth to pronounce, and may reflect synesthesia-like mapping across perceptual modalities. Here we show for the first time a “social” bouba/kiki effect, such that experimental participants associate round names (“Bob,” “Lou”) with round-faced (vs. angular-faced) individuals. Moreover, consistent with a bias for expectancy-consistent information, we find that participants like targets with “matching” names, both when name-face fit is measured and when it is experimentally manipulated. Finally, we show that such bias could have important practical consequences: An analysis of voting data reveals that Senatorial candidates earn 10% more votes when their names fit their faces very well, versus very poorly. These and similar cross-modal congruencies suggest that social judgment involves not only amodal application of stored information (e.g., stereotypes) to new stimuli, but also integration of perceptual and bodily input.

Journal

Psychonomic Bulletin & ReviewSpringer Journals

Published: Jun 8, 2017

References

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