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The Bouba-Kiki Effect

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3 buddy reviews
by Teisha Rowland, PhD and Sara Agee, PhD
Active Time
20-30 minutes
Total Project Time
20-30 minutes
Key Concepts
linguistics, psychology, human behaviors
Drawings of the sounds Bouba and Kiki


If you had to name some shapes "Bouba" and others "Kiki," which name would you give a pointy shape? How about a rounded shape? Would your friends have the same answers? In this activity, you will investigate the Bouba-Kiki effect to learn more about the human brain's fascinating connection between shapes and sounds.


Teisha Rowland, PhD, Science Buddies
Sara Agee, PhD, Science Buddies Alumni
This activity is not appropriate for use as a science fair project. Good science fair projects have a stronger focus on controlling variables, taking accurate measurements, and analyzing data. To find a science fair project that is just right for you, browse our library of over 1,150 Science Fair Project Ideas or use the Topic Selection Wizard to get a personalized project recommendation.


  • A pen, pencil, or marker. You can use a colorful assortment if you want!
  • Index cards (12)
  • A piece of paper
  • Volunteers (several)
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Active Time
20-30 minutes
Total Project Time
20-30 minutes
Key Concepts
linguistics, psychology, human behaviors