The Stroop Experiment: Interference And Automaticity

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Interference and automaticity is a major concept in the Stroop experiment. Interference occurs when one memory interferes with another, impairing memory and many think that it has plenty to do with memory loss. While automaticity, is the ability to do work without occupying the mind with low level of attention which can affect learning, repetition, and practice. The Stroop task is a common way to measure reaction time and the ability to process two conflicting sets of information at a single time. It can be administered in various ways including, but not limited to, colors and numbers. Originally, the Stroop task was presented with a color word written in a conflicting color ink and the participants were asked to name the color in which the color word was printed. The first condition had 70 participants who had to name a list of color names instead of the color. The researcher recorded the time it took for each participant to go through the list without errors. The second condition required participants to name the colors out loud in the same order as the first experiment. While the third , the participants practiced color naming of reading the word. For example, if the word red was shown in blue ink, the correct answer was blue. The results showed that there was a greater effect in reaction time in word stimuli with naming colors (the word blue was written in yellow ink with the answer being yellow) than color stimuli in reading words (the word blue was written in yellow ink with the correct answer being blue) (Stroop, 1935). Results also showed that participants respond slower to ink-color when the meaning of the word is incongruent than when its neutral (Stroop,1935). Reynolds et al. (2010) showed how certain contexts have ... ... middle of paper ... ...ading condition with no interference will be performed the quickest, and the counting condition with no interference and the experimenter-generated control condition with congruence will have similar reaction times. The counting condition with incongruence is predicted to have the longest reaction time due to the input of two sources competing for primary attention, quantity of digits and numerical values themselves. Reading condition with no interference will generate the quickest reaction time because of automaticity, the ability to read without conscious control. The reading of the numbers will be automatic because it is what most people are familiar with and exposed to the most in everyday life. The counting condition with no interference and the experimenter-generated control condition with congruence will produce similar results because the tasks are similar.

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