Wolfgang Köhler  

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The Bouba/kiki effect (1929)

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Wolfgang Köhler (January 21, 1887 – June 11, 1967) was a German-American psychologist and phenomenologist who, like Max Wertheimer, and Kurt Koffka, contributed to the creation of Gestalt psychology.

Wolfgang Köhler was the first to observe the bouba/kiki effect in 1929. In experiments, first conducted on the island of Tenerife (in which the primary language is Spanish), Köhler showed a rounded and a jagged shape and asked participants which shape was called "takete" and which was called "baluba". Although not explicitly stated when he published the results in Gestalt Psychology, Köhler implies that there was a strong preference to pair the jagged shape with "takete" and the rounded shape with "baluba".

Books by Köhler

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