'The sweet taste of maluma': Crossmodal associations between tastes and words
Crisinel AS., Jones S., Spence C.
Several recent studies have demonstrated the existence of crossmodal associations (or correspondences) between tastes and non-words, such as 'maluma' and 'takete'. In the present study, we further explore these associations, using tastes and flavors solutions. Participants rated the stimuli on scales anchored by either nonwords, taste descriptors, or other descriptors. The results confirm the existence of consistent crossmodal associations between tastes/flavors and words. Moreover, the results of principal components analysis suggest that these associations are likely based on the evaluation of the 'hedonic value' and 'activity' of the stimuli, two of the three dimensions first identified by Osgood (Psychol Bull 49:197-237, 1952), and since then repeatedly documented in the evaluation of a variety of sensory stimuli. The crossmodal associations elicited by non-words are particularly relevant for the naming/labelling of food products, since they might elicit expectations prior to consumption (and hence potentially be used to avoid any disconfirmation of expectation). © Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2012.