Using Single Colors and Color Pairs to Communicate Basic Tastes

Andy T Woods, Charles Spence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recently, it has been demonstrated that people associate each of the basic tastes (e.g., sweet, sour, bitter, and salty) with specific colors (e.g., red, green, black, and white). In the present study, we investigated whether pairs of colors (both associated with a particular taste or taste word) would give rise to stronger associations relative to pairs of colors that were associated with different tastes. We replicate the findings of previous studies highlighting the existence of a robust crossmodal correspondence between individual colors and basic tastes. However, while there was evidence that pairs of colors could indeed communicate taste information more consistently than single colors, our participants took more than twice as long to match the color pairs with tastes than the single colors. Possible reasons for these results are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2041669516658817
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

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