A Sweet Sound? Food Names Reveal Implicit Associations between Taste and Pitch
- Crossmodal Research Laboratory, Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3UD, UK
Sounds (high- and low-pitched) have been shown to be implicitly associated with basic tastes (sour and bitter—see Crisinel and Spence, 2009 Neuroscience Letters 464 39–42). In the present study, a version of the implicit association test was used to assess the strength of the association between high-pitched sounds and names of sweet-tasting foodstuffs, and between low-pitched sounds and names of salty-tasting foodstuffs (experiment 1). A similar task, the go/no-go association task was then used to evaluate the relative strengths of these associations (experiment 2). Analysis of the sensitivity of participants' responses suggested that both sour- and sweet-tasting (names of) food items were associated with high-pitched sounds. This result highlights the existence of robust cross-modal associations between certain sounds and basic tastes.
- Received September 13, 2009.
- Revision received December 15, 2009.
- © 2010 SAGE Publications