The Stroop Effect

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The Stroop effect is demonstrated by the reaction time to determine a color when the color is printed in a different color’s name. Participants respond slower or make more errors when the meaning of the word is incongruent with the color of the word. Despite knowing the meaning of the word, participants showed incapability of ignoring the stimulus attribute. This reflects a clear instance of semantic interference and an unfathomed failure of selective attention (Stroop, 1935).

In the study of the female chimpanzee Lana, the authors tested the Stroop-like effect with an animal to gather evidence from a nonverbal organism to provide additional information about the role of compatibility between response latency and performance accuracy. Lana was the first chimpanzee that was taught to associate lexigrams, which are geometric symbols to conduct experiments. She was later taught the arbitrary symbols so she could then label and categorize the color of random and novel stimuli. The testing procedure began by Lana responding to colored images in a computer screen by manipulating a joystick to move the cursor to her response.

Although there wasn’t any significant difference in response latency, her accuracy performance was significantly poorer. Lana’s Stroop-like effect supported the strength of association view and further supported the author’s suggestion that lexigrams operate “at a symbolic, word-like level for chimpanzees that are reared in environments where they are exposed to these lexigrams and that in such chimpanzees, these lexigrams might automatically evoke representations of their referents” (Beran, 2007).

In a study investigating psychopath offenders’ selective attention, 3 Stroop experiments were conducted: a standar...

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... Troglodyte). The Journal of general psychology, 134(2), 217.

Hiatt, K. D., Schmitt, W. A., & Newman, J. P. (2004). Stroop Tasks Reveal Abnormal Selective Attention Among Psychopathic Offenders. Neuropsychology, 18, 50-59.

Monahan, J. (2001). Coloring single Stroop elements: reducing automaticity or slowing color processing?. The Journal of General Psychology, 128(1), 98-112. doi: 10.1080/00221300109598901

Richards, Anne, Lucy C. Richards, and Anna McGeeney. "Anxiety-related Stroop interference in adolescents." The Journal of General Psychology 127.3 (2000): 327-33. OmniFile Full Text Mega. Web. 10 Sep. 2011.

Roelofs, A. (2005, December 1). The visual-auditory color-word Stroop asymmetry and its time course. Memory & cognition, 33(8), 1325.

Stroop, J. R. (1935). STUDIES OF INTERFERENCE IN SERIAL VERBAL REACTIONS. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 18, 643-662.
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