I know this question seems a bit arbitrary, but if you had to choose, which of these shapes below should be called a Bouba and which should be called a Kiki?
If you’re like 98% of people, you said the pointy one on the left is a Kiki and the blobish one on the right seems like a Bouba. These studies show that the human mind has a tendency to extract certain features from things that seem as seemingly neutral as shapes and sounds.
There’s something about the spikiness of the one on the left that just begs for a more piercing word like “Kiki.” On the other hand, the soft curves of the one on the right demand a softer, gentler word like “Bouba.”
While this matter isn’t technically an illusion, it does shine an interesting light on the way we perceive things, which is exactly why illusions fascinate us so much. Next time you see an illusion that really blows your mind, consider how the mind perceives the shapes and lines in the image and ask yourself, is this a Kiki or a Bouba?