Abstract

Jacobsen, T. (2002). Kandinsky's questionnaire revisited: fundamental correspondence of basic colors and forms? Perceptual and Motor Skills, 95(3 Pt 1), 903-913.

Kandinsky's questionnaire revisited: fundamental correspondence of basic colors and forms?

Kandinsky postulated a fundamental correspondence between color and form. Using a variant of his historical questionnaire, 200 (92 men, 108 women) nonartist university students were divided into two groups and asked to assign the colors yellow, red, and blue to the triangle, square, and circle in a one-to-one fashion. One group worked under a mere color-form correspondence instruction, the other under an aesthetic-correspondence one, i.e., this latter group was asked to make the most beautiful color-form assignment. Participants' assignments showed a clear, stable group preference. About half of the students assigned red to the triangle, blue to the square, and yellow to the circle, respectively. This preferred assignment stood regardless of variation in instruction. Frequently, world knowledge associations were stated in the rationale for an assignment choice. The red triangle resembled a traffic sign, a warning triangle, and the yellow circle resembled the sun. Kandinsky's assignment, however, was the least preferred one. It is argued that color-form assignments as well as the motivation to produce them are due to a multitude of factors. World knowledge, education, historical change, societal, group-specific, and individual leitmotifs are all influences.



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