Investigating the Stroop Effect

  • Length: 763 words (2.2 double-spaced pages)
  • Rating: Excellent
Open Document

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document


When a behavior or skill seems to no longer require direct
interaction, cognitive psychologists say it is automatized. Many
behaviors can become automatized: typing, reading, writing, bicycling,
piano playing, driving, etc. Automatization is interesting because it
is an important part of daily life. We perform a variety of
automatized behaviors quickly and effortlessly. In some cases people
report that they do not consciously know how the behavior is
performed, they just will it to happen, and it does happen. To explore
properties of automatized behaviors cognitive psychologists often put
observers in a situation where an automatized response is in conflict
with the desired behavior. This allows researchers to test the
behind-the-scenes properties of automatized behaviors by noting their
influence on more easily measured behaviors. This demonstration
explores a well-known example of this type of influence, the Stroop

Stroop (1935) noted that observers were slower to properly identify
the color of ink when the ink was used to produce color names
different from the ink. That is, observers were slower to identify red
ink when it spelled the word blue. This is an interesting finding
because observers are told to not pay any attention to the word names
and simply report the color of the ink. However, this seems to be a
nearly impossible task, as the name of the word seems to interfere
with the observer's ability to report the color of the ink.

A common explanation for the Stroop effect is that observers have
automatized the process of reading. Thus, the color names of the words
are always processed very quickly, regardless of the color of the ink.
On the other hand, identifying colors is not a task that observers
have to report on very often, and because it is not automatized it is
slower. The fast and automatic processing of the color name of the
word interferes with the reporting of the ink color.
The Stroop task, and its many variations, are a commonly used tool in
cognitive psychology to explore how different types of behaviors

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Investigating the Stroop Effect." 24 Jun 2018
Title Length Color Rating  
The Stroop Effect Essay - 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 betwee...   [tags: Medical Research]
:: 6 Works Cited
1082 words
(3.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Stroop Effect Experiment Essay - The Stroop experiment can be traced back as far as the nineteen century around the time of some particular works of Cattell and Wundt. The experiment was first written about in 1929 in German. The experiment was name after John Ridley Stroop after he had written the article “Studies of interference in serial verbal reactions,” which was published in 1935.there have been over 700 replications of this experiment The experiment is a demonstration of reaction time of a task . The Stroop experiment employs two basic processes of cognition; attention (“the concentration of mental effort on sensory or mental events”) and automaticity (“a cognitive process that does not require conscious though...   [tags: Stroop Effect, Experiments, science, ]
:: 3 Works Cited
763 words
(2.2 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Testing the Theory of Multitasking Essay - This experimental investigation has to do with how human’s attention work. It is based on a replication of the well-known “Stroop Effect” carried out on 1935 by John Ridley Stroop. The aim of this experiment was to demonstrate how hard it is for a person’s attention to be divided in different tasks, by making the participants read a series of three stimuli which consisted of: 1) words of colors in black ink, 2) words of colors in their actual font color, and 3) color words with different ink, where the participant read the font instead of the word present....   [tags: Stroop Effect, Experimental Investigation]
:: 3 Works Cited
1119 words
(3.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about Describe Stroop's Famous Experiment and the Stroop Effect - Describe Stroop's Famous Experiment and the Stroop Effect Strop Ridley wrote the article, known as the “Studies of Interference in Serial Verbal Reactions” in the year 1935. The article was based on a research that he conducted using colors to analyze the effects of interference on serial verbal reactions. The main objective of the research was establishing relationships between common changes in the environment and the reaction to these changes with respect to time (Stroop, 1935). In his study, Stroop developed a model that was meant to analyze the reaction by some students with regards to color identification and reading out words painted in different colors....   [tags: Psychology]
:: 2 Works Cited
1323 words
(3.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Stroop Effect: Anxiety vs. Relaxation Essay - General Discussion The first study that was conducted by Becker at al. (2001) is based on the hypothesis of general emotionality and schema congruency. The result supported was stated that patients with general anxiety disorder have general attentional bias while patients with social phobia have selective attentional bias, also known as schema congruency. The second study that was conducted by Eschenbeck at al. (2004) is based on the theory about processing bias. According to the result of the experiment, high anxious children have more Stroop interference and higher error rates during the threatening stimuli compared to other groups in the experiment....   [tags: social phobia, processing bias]
:: 3 Works Cited
517 words
(1.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Attentional Interference in Relation to the Stroop Effect Essay - Interference and facilitation are two important aspects of automatic processes. Interference refers to the range to which one process encumbers performance of another, whereas facilitation indicates the extent to which one process assists performance of another. Through practice and maturation, reading progresses from a controlled process to one that is automatic, lessening the demands on attentional resources. Stroop reported one of the first studies, which provided support for this, in 1935. He combined the word object/property dimensions in the same stimulus to create one of the most researched phenomena in cognitive psychology: The Stroop effect (MacLeod, 1991)....   [tags: essays research papers] 614 words
(1.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Stroop Effect: Color Wording and Cognitive Interference Essay - The ability for adaptive behavior and the conditions that affect it has been a central area of research for psychologists since its inception. When behaviors are learned they become automatic processes. Automatic processes can be described as behavior that is not particularly motivated by the avoidance of error because a person no longer has to consciously think about the next piece of desired information. Automatic processes occur with less effort and error, whereas controlled processes need to occur with a person’s full attention....   [tags: Psychology]
:: 2 Works Cited
1792 words
(5.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Stroop Effect Experiment Essay - METHODS Participants There were nine participants in this study, five in the first group and four in the second group. The first group included Daina Berry, Justin Quintrell, Paige Govey, Natalie Campbell, and Jared Flannery, while the second group included Megan Powell, Kyle Sugonis, Abigail Mrozek, and Vanessa Landgrave. These participants are undergraduate students from Dr. Kelling’s 11:00AM Experimental Psychology course. The students partook in the study in order to receive a passing grade for the class assignment....   [tags: Cognitive Research, Psychology] 1321 words
(3.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on The Stroop Effect: Revisited Through Nonarbitrary Key Press Modality - In his article Stroop (1935) detailed the research before his own concerning interference (inhibition) which were centered on testing associative inhibition. Researchers were using sets of nonsense syllables (stimuli) that were assigned to be associated with a different set of nonsense syllables (response), and later the stimuli syllables were changed to be assigned with a completely different set of response syllables. Researchers found that once nonsense syllables (stimuli) became associated with a certain set of other nonsense syllables (response) it was very difficult to redirect that association (see Stroop 1935)....   [tags: behavioral science, psychology]
:: 6 Works Cited
1378 words
(3.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Effect of Visual Field Position and Type of Stimuli on the Stroop Effect - Abstract An experiment was conducted to test the effect of lateralization and congruency on reaction time to name colors. This was done using a computer program provided by The University of Mississippi. This effect is called the stroop effect. Results showed that it was neither lateralization nor congruency had a significant effect on reaction time, but the interaction of these two variables that created a significant change in the time needed to recognize colors. It is believed that this is due to the different hemispheric functions of the brain....   [tags: experiment with colors] 1197 words
(3.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]

Related Searches

interact. The experiment uses a Stroop experiment, found on the
internet, to investigate the properties of automization.


Independent Variable: The time it takes to complete a single test.

Dependent Variable: The information on the screen.

Participant Selection: Participants were 10 students, studying A2
level Psychology, picked by Opportunity Sampling.

Extraneous Variables:

Null Hypothesis: There will be no relationship between the results of
matchings and different images.

Alternative Hypothesis: There will be a relationship between the
results – second set will take longer.


A ten-word sample was read by the participants before the first
reading of each test. The instructions were to read as quickly as
possible and to leave no errors uncorrected. The students did the test
in their own time, using computers and the website where they read the
instructions and followed the prompts to interactive Stroop
experiment. The stroop experiment consisted of the first set of words,
written in the colour same as their meaning, ie black written in
black, and the second set, where the words’ meanings were different to
the colour they were written in. The instructions were to say the
colour of the ink that each word was written in, and record the time
it takes to complete one list. The times it took were then recorded
and Wilcoxon test used to test the difference and whether the results
occurred by chance at 5% significance level.


The results do support the Psychological research, conducted by
Stroop. The observers have automatized the process of reading. Thus,
the color names of the words are always processed very quickly,
regardless of the color of the ink. On the other hand, identifying
colors is not a task that observers have to report on very often, and
because it is not automatized it is slower. The fast and automatic
processing of the color name of the word interferes with the reporting
of the ink color

The difference in time for naming colors and reading color names has
been variously explained. Cattell (1886) and Lund (1927) have
attributed the difference to 'practice.' Woodworth and Wells (1911, p.
52) have suggested that, "The real mechanism here may very well be the
mutual interference of the five names, all of which, from immediately
preceding use, are 'on the tip of the tongue,' all are equally ready
and likely to get in one another's way." Brown (1915, p. 51) concluded
"that the difference in speed between color naming and word reading
does not depend upon practice" but that (p. 34) "the association
process in naming simple objects like colors is radically different
from the association process in reading printed words."

Garrett and Lemmon (1924, p. 438) have accounted for their findings in
these words, "Hence it seems reasonable to say that interferences
which arise in naming colors are due not so much to an equal readiness
of the color names as to an equal readiness of the color recognitive
processes. Another factor present in interference is very probably the
present strength of the associations between colors and their names,
already determined by past use." Peterson (1918 and 1925) has
attributed the difference to the fact that, "One particular response
habit has become associated with each word while in the case of colors
themselves a variety of response tendencies have developed."

Return to