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Woods A.T.,Xperiment | Spence C.,University of Oxford | Butcher N.,York St John University | Deroy O.,School of Advanced Study, University of London
i-Perception | Year: 2013

According to a popular family of hypotheses, crossmodal matches between distinct features hold because they correspond to the same polarity on several conceptual dimensions (such as active-passive, good-bad, etc.) that can be identified using the semantic differential technique. The main problem here resides in turning this hypothesis into testable empirical predictions. In the present study, we outline a series of plausible consequences of the hypothesis and test a variety of well-established and previously untested crossmodal correspondences by means of a novel internetbased testing methodology. The results highlight that the semantic hypothesis cannot easily explain differences in the prevalence of crossmodal associations built on the same semantic pattern (fast lemons, slow prunes, sour boulders, heavy red); furthermore, the semantic hypothesis only minimally predicts what happens when the semantic dimensions and polarities that are supposed to drive such crossmodal associations are made more salient (e.g., by adding emotional cues that ought to make the good/bad dimension more salient); finally, the semantic hypothesis does not explain why reliable matches are no longer observed once intramodal dimensions with congruent connotations are presented (e.g., visually presented shapes and colour do not appear to correspond). © 2013 A T Woods, C Spence, N Butcher, O. Deroy. Source

Velasco C.,University of Oxford | Woods A.T.,Xperiment | Deroy O.,School of Advanced Study, University of London | Spence C.,University of Oxford
Food Quality and Preference | Year: 2015

Crossmodal correspondences between gustatory (taste), olfactory (smell), and flavour stimuli on the one hand and visual attributes on the other have been extensively documented in recent years. For instance, people have been shown to consistently match specific tastes and flavours to particular visual shapes. That said, further research is still needed in order to clarify how and why such correspondences exist. Here, we report a series of four experiments designed to assess what drives people's matching of visual roundness/angularity to both 'basic' taste names and actual tastants. In Experiment 1, crossmodal correspondences between taste names and abstract shapes were assessed. Next, the results were replicated in a larger online study (Experiment 2). Experiment 3 assessed the role of liking in the association between taste words and morphed shapes along the roundness/angularity dimension. In Experiment 4, basic tastants were mapped to the roundness/angularity dimension, while the mediating role of liking for each taste was assessed. Across the 4 experiments, participants consistently matched sweetness to roundness. What is more, people's liking for a taste (but not their liking for imagined tastes) appeared to influence their shape matching responses. These results are discussed in terms of crossmodal correspondences, and a potential role for hedonics is outlined. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Wan X.,Tsinghua University | Zhou X.,Tsinghua University | Woods A.T.,Xperiment | Spence C.,University of Oxford
Food Quality and Preference | Year: 2015

Two studies are reported in which the effect of glassware was investigated on subjective ratings of, and willingness-to-pay for, alcoholic drinks. Participants from China (Study 1) and the USA (Study 2) viewed online photographs of red wine, white wine, beer, whisky, and Chinese baijiu presented in 6 different glasses, including a narrow, wide, or stemless wine glass, a highball or rocks glass, and a beer mug. They rated liking, familiarity, and congruency (between the drink and the glassware), as well as how much they would be willing to pay for the drinks. Both the type of drink and the type of glassware influenced participants' subjective ratings of, and willingness-to-pay for, the drinks. The red and white wine were liked more, and people were willing to pay significantly more for if they thought that the glassware was congruent with the contents. These findings highlight the influence of content-context congruency on consumers' subjective ratings and willingness-to-pay. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Wan X.,Tsinghua University | Woods A.T.,Xperiment | Salgado-Montejo A.,University of Oxford | Salgado-Montejo A.,University of La Sabana | And 2 more authors.
Food Quality and Preference | Year: 2015

Two experiments are reported in which people's sensory, hedonic, and efficacy expectations associated with pharmaceutical pills of differing colour and shape were assessed. In Experiment 1, 101 participants from the USA viewed online photos of tablets having one of 7 colours and 3 shapes. The participants had to arrange the 21 tablets based on the expectations generated solely by the tablets' visual properties. The results revealed that the colour of the tablets influenced expected bitterness, expected alertness, and expected efficiency in combating headaches, whereas the shape of the tablets influenced the expected difficulty of swallowing. In Experiment 2, the major findings of Experiment 1 were replicated while using a greater variety of colours, in 358 participants from China, Colombia, and the USA. Importantly, the results revealed some shared expectations across cultures, such as the high expected efficacy of white tablets in combating headaches, or the high expected difficulty of swallowing the diamond-shaped tablets. The results also revealed some differences among the three groups, such as that the colour of the pills influenced how difficult the Chinese participants (but not the other two groups) expected the pills would be to swallow. These findings clearly demonstrate that the differing colours and shapes of pharmaceutical pills set-up significantly different expectations which likely play an important role in terms of people's subsequent experience. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Wan X.,Tsinghua University | Wan X.,University of Oxford | Woods A.T.,Xperiment | Seoul K.-H.,Tsinghua University | And 2 more authors.
Food Quality and Preference | Year: 2015

We report a study designed to investigate the effect of the shape of the glass on colour-flavour associations in 300 participants from the UK, India, and South Korea. Participants viewed online photographs of red, green, yellow, blue, orange, and brown beverages presented in a water, wine, or cocktail glass, and indicated the first flavour or drink that came to mind from a list of 24 flavour options. The results revealed significant cross-cultural differences in terms of the flavour expectations that were elicited by viewing each of the coloured drinks. Furthermore, the crossmodal associations for the green, yellow, and orange drinks were also found to be influenced by the shape of the glass in which the drink was presented. These findings demonstrate how contextual factors (the shape and/or type of glass) can influence the crossmodal associations that exist between colour and flavour across different cultural backgrounds. Our results further highlight the importance of considering the appropriateness of the glassware in which a drink is presented (e.g., in advertising and in any images shown in product packaging). © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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